On June 9, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published three requests for information to obtain feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders in developing new waste prevention, reuse, and recycling initiatives as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The law provides EPA with $375 million to administer the Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grant program, the Recycling Education and Outreach grant program and a Model Recycling toolkit. The requests for information are designed to collect perspectives on resources, opportunities and barriers related to waste prevention, and reuse and recycling programs.
The requests are also the latest in the growing conversation about how to improve the country’s recycling efforts.
For the corrugated industry it means the timing is right to reinforce messaging about the industry’s strong recycling record.
In 2021, the recycling rate for old corrugated containers (OCC) was 91.4%. This is in stark contrast to the plastic recycling rate which annually sits in the single digits.
A new effort to expand the corrugated industry’s recycling message was introduced to Fibre Box Association (FBA) members at the association’s Annual Meeting in April.
Sarah Meiburg, Senior Director Industry Outreach at the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB), shared information about the organization’s Box to Nature program which places new artwork on boxes aimed at increasing consumer knowledge about the right way to recycle.
The program seeks to engage and educate consumers about the benefits of corrugated box recycling. Through the use of messaging and a QR code activation, consumers are encouraged to break down boxes and recycle them so that fibers can be recovered to make more boxes. The message/graphic uses boxes as the delivery mechanism and consumer touchpoint while the QR code connects consumers to the
microsite. The microsite includes instructions for recycling corrugated boxes, tips to strengthen recycling behavior and a fun box recycling quiz.
The program relies on both box manufacturers and their customers to communicate with consumers.
At a time when recycling conversations are ripe, the Box to Nature program is the next step in supporting consumer education about the recyclability and tremendous track record of corrugated boxes and the corrugated packaging industry.
Later this summer, FBA will be connecting interested member companies to Sarah and the Box to Nature program. If you have an interest in sharing the Box to Nature program with your customers, please let me know.