By Brian Hawkinson
Executive Director, Recovered Fiber and Paperboard
It’s National Forest Products Week, and there’s no better occasion to recognize paper and packaging recycling as a true success story. In 2017, more than 51 million tons of paper and paper-based packaging was recovered for recycling. That is enough paper to fill a railroad train of boxcars stretching from New York to Los Angeles three times!
The industry’s work and the participation of Americans who recycle paper and packaging at home, work, school and public spaces every day have produced that win. It’s truly a joint effort, and everyone has a role to play in making sure that paper and packaging recycling’s success continues in the future.
It’s more important than ever as we work together to increase the amount of paper and paper-based packaging recovered for recycling that we also work to improve the quality of materials that go into the recovery stream.
How? You can help by doing these three things: Keep it Dry, Keep it Clean, Put it in the Bin:
Keep it Dry
Empty paper-based packaging of any liquids – like milk or juice from cartons.
Keep it Clean
Remove any contents in the package. That goes for food remaining in cartons and interior packing materials (like foam peanuts) in corrugated boxes that your online purchases arrive at your home in.
Put it in the Bin
Most paper and paper-based packaging items fit in recycling bins. Some need to be reduced in size. Corrugated boxes that your online purchases arrive at your home in are an example. If the box it too big to fit, you can flatten it or rip it into smaller pieces that will fit.
The important thing to remember is – recycle paper and paper-based packaging by keeping it dry, clean and in the bin. By following these steps, you are helping to ensure that paper recycling’s success will continue for generations to come.