According to The Carton Council of North America, 50 percent of U.S. households can recycle cartons through curbside and other local recycling programs.
This milestone represents the tremendous industry-led effort made possible by the support of countless recycling, packaging, municipal and sustainability stakeholders.
Carton recycling access has grown 177 percent over the last 5 years, starting at just 18 percent in 2009 when the Carton Council was first formed. Since then, impressive progress has been made in building infrastructure and improving access to carton recycling nationwide. The Carton Council is a group of carton manufacturers united to deliver solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill.
With access growing every day, cartons are quickly becoming a standard recyclable material. Since 2009, carton recycling access has been added to more than 36 million homes and is now in 77 of the top 100 U.S. cities. Today, more than 58 million homes in 46 states have access to carton recycling.
Made primarily from a renewable resource, lightweight and compact in design and with a low carbon footprint, cartons have proven to be a sustainable packaging solution that is growing in use for a variety of liquid and food products. Recycling facility managers and community program officials are finding it necessary to integrate cartons into the recycling supply chain, where they are a proven valuable material thanks to their high-quality, virgin long fiber. In addition to the fiber, cartons have thin layers of polyethylene (plastic). Shelf-stable cartons also have a thin layer of aluminum to enable the product to be stored safely without refrigeration. These materials can also be recovered and recycled.
Published in the August 2014 Edition of American Recycler News