- The Carton Council of North America has announced that 60% of U.S. households now have access to recycling options for standard aseptic and gable-top cartons.
- This is a key number for the carton industry because it now qualifies the packaging as recyclable for a substantial majority of consumers. According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines it can now bear the "Please Recycle" logo.
- When the Carton Council was formed in 2009, carton recycling availability was at 18% and has increased rapidly since then. The council plans to continue this progress by launching a new consumer education campaign in February.
Carton recycling has been on the cusp of achieving this number for months and the council has been working to expand participation through a series of local education campaigns. Yet even in some cities with more advanced recycling programs, such as Austin, cartons aren't accepted for recycling so more work remains.
Though, as indicated by this new 60% figure, more communities have been choosing to accept the cartons and multiple regional markets exist for the paper, aluminum and polyethylene within them. According to the Carton Council, the paper portion can be used to make items like tissues and paper towels.
As seen in a recent survey from the Carton Council of Canada, this may not matter if the items don't have a label telling residents to recycle them. Now that cartons qualify under the FTC's guidelines that is likely to change and select brands could choose to apply for a How2Recycle label as well.