Recycling and Recovery
Just because you participate in your community recycling effort does not mean that every newspaper and plastic bottle collected by your municipality will be able to be reused. Not all recycled waste is recovered; most of it still winds up in landfills or other disposal (54.3% of the total collected in 2010).
In 2009, the EPA reported that on average, each American added 2.36 pounds of waste to landfills of every day. In the 2010, that number rose to 2.90 pounds. Read the latest EPA report on Municipal Sold Waste recovery here.
Paperboard has higher recycling statistics than almost any other packaging material: almost 67%!
Just the Facts
- Paper packaging accounts for 71.3% of all packaging materials recovered for recycling, totaling nearly 27 million tons. (U.S. EPA)
- In the U.S., 87 percent of the population has access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs. (AF&PA)
- U.S paper recovery has grown by 72 percent since 1990, when the paper industry established its first recovery goal to advance recycling (AF&PA).
- In 2009, 79 percent of paper and paperboard mills used some recovered paper and 119 mills used only recovered paper (AF&PA).
- Recycled paperboard represents the largest market for recycled paper in the U.S. (Earth 911)
- In the U.S., 33 percent of materials used to make paper come from recycled paper. (Earth 911)
- More than half of the products on supermarket shelves are now packaged in recycled paperboard. (Pulp & Paper Factbook)