Allied Organizations

Two Sides – “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Break It”

In so many fundamental ways, environmental sustainability is baked into the nature of the paper and paper-based packaging industry – from the ability and financial incentive to regrow its primary raw material to the biodegradability of its products. As the call for the circularity of product lifecycles is growing louder, paper has always had a head start. And the industry’s strong support and investment in recycling has transformed the circularity of paper products from vision to reality. At a time when there is growing alarm about the low recycled rates of other materials, paper recycling is a stark exception.

While the recycling rate of other materials is as low as the single digits – for example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports the recycling rate for plastics is just 8.7%

– 66% of all paper products in the United States and 70% in Canada are being recycled. This is near the theoretical maximum recycling rate when items like hygiene products and long-held items such as archived records and books are excluded. For those grades that can be almost entirely recovered and reused, such as corrugated cardboard boxes, recycling rates are higher than 90%.

This level of success is only possible because the paper industry and consumers interact in the free market that drives the paper lifecycle. Read the full article