Paper Recycling Is a Node for America’s Circular Economy

There is More to Cardboard Recycling Than the Environmental Benefits… It is Essential to American Production

The Importance of Paper Recycling
If you are like most avid recyclers, you may spend a considerable amount of time focusing on plastics: What plastics to recycle? Which plastics go into the trash? How do we reduce impacts regarding plastic waste? However, in a recent panel discussion regarding the circular economy, an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources, it highlight­ed the fact recyclable materials with the highest demand are paper products. This is because 60% of materials recycled that are made into new products are paper products. Plastics make up just 5% of the materials recycled by weight. 

Video on circular economy: 

American Made Paper Products are Made From Recycled Paper
As a reminder, recycling is led by demand. A manufacturer must buy a recycled material and make it into something new to ensure recycling will happen! When it comes to cardboard and paper products, demand is at an all-time high from American Manufac­tures. This is because recycled paper products are used to make chipboard products like cereal boxes, paperboard, paper towels, tissues and, of course, more cardboard boxes.  

In today’s COVID-19 economy, manufactures need more recycled cardboard and clean paper to support their ability to make new boxes to ship essential items to stores, as well as house and make those everyday products we use. However, with recent business closures due to COVID-19, there has been disruption to the amount of cardboard recycled since businesses mainly produce boxes for recycling. 

A Visible Disruption to Our Supply Chain
Now, when at the store, materials we never thought about needing are essentially scarce, especially if it is an American Made paper products. This is because many manufacturing plants in the U.S. can only use recycled paper to make new paper products. This means that recycling clean cardboard and office paper is a very important way to support the American economy and a closed loop recycling system.  

How Do We Obtain More Clean Cardboard & Paper in the Recycle Bins From Homes?
We need more people at home to diligently recycle their quality paper products. Remember, to capture cardboard and paperboard products from more than just your kitchen, you should include boxes from your bathroom and laundry room too! Items to add are the following: Kleenex boxes, toilet paper rolls, paper board medi­cine containers, boxes from new toys (remove hard plastics), delivery boxes (remove Styrofoam and absolutely no plastic bags), cereal boxes, macaroni and cheese boxes, boxes from milk and drink containers, as well as junk mail, magazines, craft paper, and paper grocery bags.  

Recycling is driven by quality. ALWAYS TRASH wipes, paper towels, napkins, paper plates, toilet paper and actual Kleenex. 

These low-grade paper products create major sanitation issues at recycle facilities, so please place them into the trash bin. Thank you for your commitment to recycling correctly. While a benefit to the environment and our domestic economy, the positive ripple effects are countless.