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Corrugated Packaging and Recycling Industry Groups Work to Increase Residential OCC Recovery

The groups have agreed to proactively pursue a broad set of initiatives to help increase recovery.

Corrugated packaging and recycling industry groups recently met to review recommendations for increasing residential recovery of old corrugated containers (OCC). The recommendations are a result of research conducted by RRS for the Fibre Box Association (FBA). The research asked more than 1,000 Americans about their residential OCC recycling practices.

Corrugated packaging is the most widely recycled packaging material, with a recovery rate near 90 percent for the past seven years. To retain this leadership role, the corrugated industry is exploring how shifts in consumer purchasing patterns could impact recovery. The group recognized the need for a renewed focus on promoting the recyclability of OCC and agreed to proactively pursue a broad set of initiatives to help increase recovery.

These initiatives include activities to generate greater ease of access and specifically address multifamily and rural residential recovery. The group agreed to:

  • Promote the use of carts instead of bins for curbside collection of OCC where applicable to accommodate greater collection.
  • Support efforts to match the frequency of recycling and trash collection to provide for equal access to recycling.
  • Establish clear and harmonized messages and graphics for household recovery of OCC, including what can be recycled and how to do it.
  • Develop more direct recycling messages on boxes to remind consumers to recycle.
  • Work with additional groups on recycling education to increase understanding and encourage recycling behaviors.
  • Support the development of building codes that make recycling easy for multifamily dwellings.
  • Encourage replication of successful multifamily and rural recovery programs.

For years, OCC has been a recycling success story. The group believes a renewed focus on its recyclability will spur additional recovery efforts.

The group led by FBA included AICC – The Independent Packaging Association, American Forest & Paper Association, AMERIPEN, Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries, Waste Management and member companies Cascades, Dusobox, Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, Kruger, PCA, Pratt Industries and WestRock. 

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