Washington, DC, USA — Since 1990, when the first nationwide paper recovery goal was set, the U.S. recovery rate has nearly doubled, topping 65 percent in 2012. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2011, only 27.6 percent of glass, 20.7 percent of aluminum and 8.3 percent of plastics were recovered from municipal solid waste streams. Recovering paper products extends the fiber supply, which allows the industry to reuse its products to make new ones. It also saves an average of 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space for each ton of paper recycled.
„Recovering paper and paper-based products for recycling has long been a priority for our industry and an effort in which AF&PA members continue to be proven leaders“, balances Donna Harman, President & CEO of the American Forest and Paper Association. AF&PA member companies have taken efforts to develop and nurture a voluntary, market-driven system that fosters consistently high rates of paper recovery. The sustainability initiative – Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 – includes a goal to exceed 70 percent recovery of all paper used in the U.S. by the year 2020. AF&PA members continually take strides to improve the recovery of paper and paper-based packaging.
The paper recycling industry collects, sorts and processes recovered paper into new paper and paper-based packaging products that were valued at $8.4 billion in 2012. And the value of U.S. recovered paper exports totaled $3.5 billion in 2012. „All in all“, stresses Donna Harman“, paper recovery has fostered a dynamic marketplace that allows recovered fiber to find its highest-value use, which helps to encourage even more recycling“. And she added: „We recognize excellence in paper recovery for recycling through our annual AF&PA Recycling Awards program.“
Descriptions of the awards, entry criteria and entry forms are all available on paperrecycles.org. The deadline for all entries is March 7, 2014.
Source: American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA)