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U.S. Paper Recovery for Recycling Rate Reaches Record 68.1 Percent in 2018

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today announced that 68.1 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2018. The recovered paper market rebounded after China’s import restrictions on recovered products caused the rate to dip in 2017. 

“U.S. paper recovery for recycling is successful because it is voluntary and market driven,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “Industry and consumer commitment to increasing the quantity and quality of paper recovered for recycling contributed to this record-high rate.”

“Markets for recovered paper are complex, efficient and extremely resilient and our industry is increasing the use of recovered paper to make new products. The U.S. paper recovery for recycling rate has now met or exceeded 63 percent for the past decade,” said AF&PA Board Chairman and Greif, Inc. President and CEO Pete Watson. “We thank everyone who makes the effort to recycle paper for contributing to this success.”

Paper recovery for recycling helps extend the useful life of paper and paper-based packaging products, making it an integral part of the industry’s sustainability story. 

As part of its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative, the industry aims to exceed 70 percent paper recovery for recycling by 2020.

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