For the Planet
Big Box retailers such as Walmart are advocating sustainability all along their supply chains. Paperboard packaging is inherently positioned to make a significant impact on renewable, recyclable packaging that saves energy from production to shipment to storage, then back again to the paper mill. And not only do consumers prefer their packaging in paperboard, they actively prefer purchasing products in packaging they know they can easily recycle without culling or sorting.
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.
Paperboard has higher recycling rates than
almost any other packaging material: almost 67%!
Did You Know?
- 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)
Many of the things which we extract from the earth are not replaceable. We can’t “grow” gold to replace what we’ve mined anymore than we can extract new oil once we’ve exhausted a well. Fortunately, this cannot be said of the wood fiber from which paperboard packaging is made.
Virtually all virgin paperboard consumed in the U.S. today comes from “tree farms” where trees are planted, harvested and replanted specifically to be converted into paperboard.
THE DARK GREEN AREAS ARE WHERE FOREST ACREAGE IS INCREASING
Did You Know?
- One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
- Young trees, like those used to make paperboard packaging, soak up more CO2 than older ones.
- Harvesting trees while they are still young and replacing them with seedlings ensures the highest amount of CO2 absorption, now and in the future.
- Trees used in the manufacture of paperboard packaging are grown on farms, like vegetables. No rainforest trees are used
- The U.S. forest products industry plants 1,700,000 trees each day, over three times the amount harvested for industry.
- America's forests have increased by 12 million acres since 1987 (as of 2010) and though population has tripled since the early 1900s, forest acreage is roughly the same as it was over a century ago.
- Standing timber in U.S. forests has increased 40% in the last half century.
- Paper mill wood waste and byproducts are converted into energy, supplying 2/3 of the energy required to produce paperboard.
- Trees from tropical rainforests are not used to make paperboard packaging in the U.S.
- Virtually all paperboard packaging comes from trees grown and harvested in the U.S.
- AF&PA member mills generate an average of 65% of their energy needs onsite from carbon-neutral biomass.
- The more trees we plant, the more carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere.
When you buy a paperboard package that began its journey as a tree from a certified managed forest, once you've recycled that box you can be sure you have taken a small but definite step toward making the world a better place for the generations to follow. Not only is a tree a renewable resource, but the more we plant, the more carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. And we plant at least three times more trees than we harvest.
Consider the alternatives and the conclusion is as green as the trees in your own backyard:
paperboard is the planet's choice for packaging!