Related Notes
For the FBA CPA Committees' meeting schedules,
click here

For more information regarding CPA, visit

Competing Materials

The packaging industry is constantly, and rapidly, changing to meet the needs of manufacturers, retailers and consumers in an increasingly global, competitive and technological world marketplace. In these changing times, the corrugated packaging industry faces unprecedented competition from alternate materials.

The growing emphasis on sustainability has profound implications in packaging, which is subject to intense scrutiny and innovation. Some of the world's largest retailers now demand measurable improvements in packaging sustainability for the products they buy and sell to consumers.  


The Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA), sponsored by the FBA, AF&PA, AICC and TAPPI, works to protect and grow corrugated's share of an increasingly competitive packaging market.

Corrugated Packaging Alliance's (CPA) Mission:


  • To foster growth and profitability of corrugated in applications where it can be demonstrated, based on credible and persuasive evidence, that corrugated should be the packaging material of choice.
  • To provide a coordinated industry forum that effectively acts on competing materials matters that could not be accomplished by individual members.

Since its inception, CPA has helped assure corrugated’s competitive market position with the following programs:

    • Sponsorship of two life cycle assessment reports which measured and documented the cradle-to-cradle environmental impact of corrugated packaging. The first-ever U.S. corrugated industry LCA was released in 2010.  The second study, published in June 2014 using 2010 data, showed significant improvement by the corrugated industry in environmental performance.
    • Development of a sustainability position and related materials for promoting corrugated.
    • Development, adoption and promotion of the voluntary standard for repulping and recycling corrugated fiberboard that has been treated for water and water vapor resistance (also known as the wax alternatives testing protocol and standard). This standard has made it possible for wax alternatives to be tested for repulpability and recyclability, and by passing specified test protocols, to carry a certification mark indicating recyclability. Its adoption was an important accomplishment for precluding competing materials substitutions for wax-treated corrugated in the produce and other markets where moisture protection is needed.
    • Development and introduction of the Case-Ready Meat Standard (CRMS), helping prevent incursion of RPCs into emerging case-ready meat segment.
    • Sponsorship of studies analyzing performance and cost comparisons between corrugated and RPCs in various applications.
    • Development of informational campaigns and materials promoting corrugated's environmental and performance benefits.
    • Market research - measuring corrugated market share and assessing threats and opportunities in certain vulnerable end-use markets.
    • Intensive work with Wal-Mart to provide industry input to the development process of its Sustainability Scorecard;
    • Continuous liaison with major retailers to monitor their needs, plans and challenges affecting present and future packaging purchases.
    • Development and introduction of the Corrugated Common Footprint for Produce (CCF), which helped limit the infringement of reusable plastic containers (RPCs) into corrugated markets.
    • Development and promotion of a cost-analysis tool called Full Disclosure, which makes it possible for packaging users to analyze the total system costs of using corrugated versus competing products.
    • Creation and maintenance of an externally-focused website,, where non-industry members can find general information on corrugated packaging.

Cost Analysis Case Scenarios


25 Northwest Point Blvd.
Suite 510
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

p: 847.364.9600   f: 847.364.9639

Home     ::     About FBA     ::     Data     ::     Issues     ::     Connections     ::     Membership