Recycling Trends: Corrugated cardboard recycling looking strong

cardboard recyclingCorrugated cardboard recycling has been on a consistent rise for the past few decades. The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recently released a report stating that Old Corrugated Container (OCC) recovery has been climbing at a steady velocity since the 1990’s.

The Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA) also recently announced recovery of cardboard (OCC) recycling increased by 3.7% in 2015, pushing the figure for the year to a record 92.9%.

More than 51% of cardboard recovered in 2015 was used to make new containerboard, which, on average, includes about 50% recycled content.  11.5% was used to make boxboard, (shoe box type material), and 32% of this material was exported to foreign manufacturers.

By comparison, the recovery of old newspaper (ONP) declined by 7% for the year. New supply for ONP old newspaper material (ONP) declined by 11.4%.

AF&PA also reported that printing and writing paper, (P&W) recovery for recycling declined by 3.3%, and new supply dropped by 4.9%.


Behind the numbers:  What’s causing these trends?

These figures represent the continuous changes taking place within the US and worldwide paper industry.

The growth in demand and recovery for cardboard (OCC) is a direct result of e-commerce, and the demand for boxes, packaging, and the growing segment of our economy this represents.  For more on this topic read our previous post on Recent Projections: A Sign of a Bright Future for Old Corrugated Cardboard Demand.

The decline in demand for newspapers and writing papers are a direct result of the growth of e-readers, iPads, and people obtaining their news “online”, rather than buying a local or national paper. Writing paper demand is also widely affected by the demand for physical paper, with communication continuously replaced by email, and other forms of communication.

Ask yourself – when was the last time you had a package delivered to your door? And when was the last time you picked up a newspaper, or wrote a letter?

Miller Recycling is well positioned to handle your cardboard recycling needs.  Please contact us to discuss your cardboard recycling business.