Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Packaging: Corrugated recovery hits 91%

In 2012, 91 percent (29 million tons) of the corrugated packaging used in the U.S. was successfully recovered for recycling, maintaining its top position as the most-recycled packaging material.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
June 07, 2013

In 2012, 91 percent (29 million tons) of the corrugated packaging used in the U.S. was successfully recovered for recycling, maintaining its top position as the most-recycled packaging material.

Recovery for recycling has increased steadily since 1993, when 54.5 percent of old corrugated containers (OCC) was recycled.  Recovery is also helped by the widespread access to community paper and paper-based packaging recycling programs.  According to the American Forest & Paper Association’s Community Survey, 87 percent (268 million) of the U.S. population have access to curbside or drop-off recycling programs.

Most OCC is used to make new paper products.  Of the 91 percent of corrugated that was recovered in 2012, more than 50 percent was used to make new containerboard.  An additional 12 percent was used to make recycled paperboard and more than 34 percent was exported.

Corrugated and the other paper-based packaging industries set the standard for recovery.  According to the most recent data available from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States; 2010 Facts and Figures, the corrugated and paper-based packaging industries set the standard for recovering products from the solid waste management stream.

The table below reflects data drawn from the EPA report and compares recovery rates for several major packaging materials. The data show that corrugated and paper-based packaging have the highest recovery rates among these major commodities.

The corrugated industry continues to support the increased OCC recovery for recycling by:
Modernizing equipment and technology so that OCC can be used at the manufacturing facilities.
Supporting business, community, and school recycling programs.
Developing a repulpability/recyclability standard protocol for corrugated boxes treated for moisture resistance.

For more information about paper and corrugated recycling, please visit http://www.paperrecycles.org  For .information about corrugated packaging’s life-cycle studies and sustainability, visit http://www.corrugated.org

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

This complimentary white paper addresses areas of potential benefit to a grocery distributor considering an investment in automated case picking technology.

In 2015, a new era in shipment pricing will go into effect when major carriers implement dimensional ("dim") weight pricing for all ground packages regardless of their size. This complimentary white paper, "Dimensional Weight: Don't Let it Weigh You Down", can help you optimize your packaging operation to minimize the financial impacts of dimensional weight pricing.

Replacing older, less-efficient lift trucks at the right time can reduce your maintenance costs, improve your productivity and, most importantly, save money and maximize your return on investment. So how do you determine the right time to make a new, significant purchase? Download this complimentary white paper for guidance on how to determine the ideal time to replace lift trucks and how planned replacement can benefit your operation.

The prolonged operating hours of automated distribution operations leave limited time for maintenance. For tightly-scheduled fulfillment operations, unplanned downtime not only cuts into slim profit margins, it jeopardizes future business and customer loyalty. Download this complimentary white paper to learn five mission-critical benefits of implementing a resident maintenance program.

Debut of Pharma EXPO plays crucial role in increase.

Article Topics

News · Sustainability · Packaging · All topics


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA