- The Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA) announced that the domestic recovery rate for old corrugated cardboard containers (OCC) was up 3.7% to 92.9% in 2015.
- This increase was attributed to a 3.5% increase in domestic recovered fiber consumption and a 10.6% increase in OCC exports.
- More than half of the OCC recovered was used for creating new containerboard. The remaining 32% was exported and 11.5% was used for boxboard.
According to the CPA, these recovery rates have grown steadily since the 1990s due to concerted education efforts and increased demand for recycled material. The organization estimates that the value of industry shipments was $26.4 billion in 2012 and 90% of North American products are either shipped or displayed in corrugated packaging.
OCC prices have been affected by shifting commodity prices, but remain relatively stable and companies such as Pratt Industries have been profitable recycling the material. Municipalities have also found it worthwhile to separate OCC. Fort Collins, CO used to require businesses to recycle it and Lincoln, NE is considering banning it from landfills.
Other types of paper stock saw positive trends for 2015 as well. The recovery rates for old newspaper increased to 72.8% and printing and writing paper (P&W) was up to 58.6% — though the actual tonnage of P&W recovered was down. Overall the rate of domestic paper recovery increased to a record 66.8% and consumption of the material at U.S. mills was up as well.