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 - MMH Editorial

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

Experienced executive joins provider of automated storage and retrieval systems.

This white paper will outline the use of automated, software-driven picking technologies such as horizontal carousels, vertical carousels and vertical lift modules for inventory picking. These automated picking technologies can slash fulfillment times, labor needs and warehouse footprint requirements, while vastly improving throughput and worker productivity. This supports same-day and next-day delivery objectives and boosts customer satisfaction. Download the complimentary white paper.

How to identify and reduce the six types of waste common to every battery room.

Most departments to double in size, electrical controls department to increase four-fold.

Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act would create more advanced manufacturing centers to compete globally and attract investors.

Article Topics

News · Sustainability · Packaging · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


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