By Cortney Hazen
Manager, Recovered Fiber
Every October is an exciting time for the industry as we celebrate National Forest Products Week and get to remind the world of the many benefits of choosing paper and paper packaging. At home, school, the workplace and all points in between, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products provide undeniable value to consumers and communities across the country. And the best part of using forest products for everyday use is they are made from a renewable and recyclable resource.
In 2015, the industry recovered 66.8 percent of paper and paperboard in the U.S. And we achieve continuously high recovery rates through the voluntary, market-driven recovery system. Compared to other recyclable commodities, the recovery rate of paper and paper-based packaging from municipal solid waste streams is very high.
Promoting increased paper recycling is an integral part of our industry’s sustainable practices. Since AF&PA instituted the first paper recovery goal, the industry has worked with partners to promote increased paper recovery in communities, on college campuses, in schools, and businesses.
We have created materials to educate consumers about best paper recycling practices, such as which kinds of paper and paper-based packaging are recyclable, making sure paper products are clean and dry before they’re placed in the recycling bins, and how to determine what to shred before recycling and what can go straight into recycling bins. These materials can be found at PaperRecycles.org.
But ultimately, paper recycling advances because millions of people make the decision to recycle at home, work and school every day. If you have a choice in buying items made from different materials, know that choosing forest products is the responsible, sustainable choice.
Thank you for doing your part to make paper recycling a success!