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Does Paper Actually Get Recycled? The Industry Answers

You put your recycling in the bin and drop it at the curb. Then what happens? Does it actually get recycled? Yes! At paper mills across the country, recycled paper is used to make the essential products millions of people rely on.

U.S. Paper and Cardboard Recycling Rates Continue to Hold Strong in 2022

Paper and cardboard continue to be some of the most recycled materials in the United States. In 2022, the paper recycling rate was 67.9% and the cardboard recycling rate was 93.6%. Paper recycling is successful because of the millions of people who recycle and the paper industry’s ongoing…

U.S. Paper Industry Tallies High Recycling Rate in 2022

Nearly 68% of paper and more than 93% of cardboard consumed in the United States was recycled in 2022. Paper recycling rates have remained consistently high – meeting or exceeding 63% each year since 2009.

Where Recycled Paper Goes Graph

In 2022, nearly half of recycled paper went into making containerboard - the material used to make cardboard boxes.

Cardboard Recycling Graph

In 2022, 93.6% of cardboard boxes were recycled. Keep up the good work by breaking boxes down flat, keeping them dry and clean, and then put them in the bin. 

Cardboard Recycling Rate Graphic

93.6% of all cardboard boxes were recycled in 2022. The recycling rate for cardboard has exceeded 82% since 2009. 

Paper and Cardboard Recycling Rate Graphic

Paper recycling is a success. In 2022, nearly 68% of paper was recycled and more than 93% of cardboard boxes were recycled.

AF&PA Releases Q2 2023 Boxboard Quarterly Report

Total Boxboard production in Q2 decreased 11% compared to Q2 2022. The boxboard operating rate was 86.6%, down 7.6 points from Q2.

Let’s Set the Record Straight. Pizza Boxes are Recyclable.

We’re aiming to answer a common question that causes a lot of confusion across the United States: Are pizza boxes recyclable? We’re here to set the record straight. 

AF&PA Details U.S. Paper Production and Capacity Trends

AF&PA released the 63rd Paper Industry Capacity and Fiber Consumption Survey. Overall, U.S. paper and paperboard capacity declined slightly by 0.4% in 2022.

AF&PA Releases Q1 2023 Boxboard Quarterly Report

Total Boxboard production in Q1 decreased 5% compared to Q1 2022. The boxboard operating rate was 87.8%, down 6.1 points from Q1.

AF&PA Releases Q1 2023 Containerboard Quarterly Report

Total Containerboard production in the first quarter of 2023 decreased 10% when compared to Q1 2022.