PaperAge Magazine

U.S. Paper Recovery Rate Increased to 66.8 Percent in 2015

Paper Recycling The U.S. paper recovery rate increased by 1.4 percentage points in 2015 to a record-high 66.8 percent, while domestic consumption of recovered paper at U.S. mills increased 1.2 percent in 2015 to 30.9 million tons.

May 5, 2016 – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today announced that 66.8 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2015.

“Industry efforts, the voluntary, market-driven recovery system, and the millions of Americans who make the decision to recycle every day have helped to keep U.S. paper recovery at continuously high levels,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.

The U.S. paper recovery rate increased by 1.4 percentage points in 2015 to a record-high 66.8 percent. The previous high point of 66.4 percent was recorded in 2011.

Domestic consumption of recovered paper at U.S. mills increased 1.2 percent in 2015 to 30.9 million tons, while net recovered paper exports advanced by 2.5 percent to 20.7 million tons.

“Our industry will continue to support and implement education programs and initiatives to inform consumers about the importance of paper recycling, and encourage the continued expansion of access to paper recycling nationwide,” said AF&PA Board Chairman and Packaging Corporation of America Chairman and CEO Mark Kowlzan.

The paper recovery rate measured 33.5 percent back in 1990, which was the base year against which AF&PA began setting its recovery goals.

AF&PA member companies have set a goal to increase the U.S. paper recovery rate to more than 70 percent by 2020. The 2015 numbers point to clear progress towards meeting the goal.

U.S. paper recovery rate statistics are available at www.paperrecycles.org/statistics.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020.

The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures approximately $200 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

SOURCE: American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)