Rachel Kenyon (847)364-9600,
Cheryl Reynhout (401) 932-8126,
Katharine Eaton (202) 463-2434,

Corrugated Industry Links Rise in Recycled Content of Boxes
to Advancements in Papermaking Technology

ITASCA, IL (August 23, 2016) – The Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA) today announced that advancements in papermaking technology and the availability of high-quality fiber have made it possible to reuse more old corrugated containers (OCC) in the manufacturing process while at the same time maintaining the strength characteristics of new boxes.

The recovered paper utilization rate in containerboard has been fairly stable during recent years, but it increased from 27 percent in 1990 to 47.3 percent in 2000 and reached 48.4 percent in 2015. The amount of fiber reused in boxes varies for different applications, with recycled content being as high as 100 percent for packaging many consumer product goods items and as low as 38.4 percent for packaging direct food contact items like fresh produce.

Corrugated products can be made from 100 percent new fiber, 100 percent recycled fiber, or a blend of these fibers. The worldwide market needs both new and recycled fiber in order to produce the best quality of corrugated material and ensure a consistent and sustainable supply.

The OCC recovery rate reached a record-high 92.9 percent in 2015. Both high recovery rates and high reuse of fiber are examples of the corrugated industry’s commitment to producing sustainable packaging.


About the Corrugated Packaging Alliance
The Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA) is a corrugated industry initiative, jointly sponsored by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), AICC – the Independent Packaging Association, the Fibre Box Association (FBA) and TAPPI. Its mission is to foster growth and profitability of corrugated in applications where it can be demonstrated, based on credible and persuasive evidence, that corrugated should be the packaging material of choice; and to provide a coordinated industry focus that effectively acts on industry matters that cannot be accomplished by individual members. CPA members include corrugated manufacturers and converters throughout North America.