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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. 

Paper Recycling Graph

In 2022, we recovered more than 50 million tons of paper for recycling and the paper recycling rate was nearly 68%.  

Paper Recycling Rate Graphic

Nearly 68% of paper was recycled in 2022. The recycling rate has met or exceeded 63% every year since 2009.

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.

How Does AF&PA Calculate Paper and Cardboard Recycling Rates?

More than two-thirds of the paper used in the U.S. is recycled and used to make new sustainable paper products people use every day. That’s more than 50 million tons of paper. To unpack the paper and cardboard recycling rates further, we turned to AF&PA’s Executive Director of Recovered Fiber…

Juno is an Innovative Recycling Technology

With its Juno technology, Georgia-Pacific is diverting trash from landfills and recovering valuable materials for recycling. John Mulcahy explains how this innovation works and why paper recycling is important.  

Are Address Window Envelopes Recyclable?

Are address window envelopes recyclable? Yes! You don’t even have to remove the plastic window. During the repulping process, it gets filtered out.

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 Opposes Current Massachusetts Recycling Proposals

AF&PA opposes one-size-fits-all policies to address recycling in Massachusetts. Current proposals do not reflect the complexities of the state’s recycling system. We encourage Massachusetts lawmakers to take a more solution-oriented approach and avoid measures that penalize the forest products…