Skip to main content

The US Cardboard Recycling Rate

The U.S. cardboard - what the industry calls corrugated - rate has exceeded 82% every year since 2009.

The US Recycling Rate

The U.S. paper recycling rate has met or exceeded 63% since 2009, thanks to our efforts to produce more sustainable paper products, increase the availability of community recycling and educate consumers about the importance and ease of paper recycling. 

2030 Goal Advance More Resilient US Forests

A Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 goal is to advance more resilient U.S. forests. AF&PA members have long been committed to sustainable forestry. 

2030 Goal Advance a Circular Value Chain

A Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 goal is to advance a circular value chain through the production of renewable and recyclable products.

EPA Packaging Recycling

Most recent data from the EPA  indicates that paper and paperboard packaging accounts for three-quarters of all packaging materials recovered for recycling in the U.S.

Paper Recycling & Landfill Graph

The paper industry is proud of the investments it has made to improve paper recycling. Thanks to that effort plus participation in recycling programs, nearly twice as much paper is recycled than is sent to landfills.  

Where Recycled Paper Goes Graph

In 2020, nearly half of recycled paper went into making containerboard - the material used to make cardboard boxes.

Cardboard Recycling Graph

In 2020, 88.8% of cardboard boxes were recycled so keep up the good work by breaking boxes down flat, keeping them dry and clean and putting them in the bin. 

Paper Recycling Graph

In 2020, we recovered more than 47 million tons of paper for recycling and the paper recycling rate was 65.7%. 

AF&PA on Pizza Box Recycling

AF&PA has issued two statements about pizza box recycling. Pizza boxes are recycled at paper mills around the country every day. Grease and cheese are not an issue. We encourage local communities to update their guidelines.

Marketplace Sustainability

It’s important for people to have unrestricted access to these essential products. For example, it is important for us all to be able to choose how we receive information from the government, whether in paper format or digital. Or for us to have the choice of paper bags at the grocery line check…

The Future of Forestry is Through Education

When Chuck Daniels explains working forests to a 6th grader, he tells them they're full of life. He also says we depend on the forests, and the forests depend on us.