Recycling Corrugated Packaging

Corrugated is the most recycled packaging material: 96 percent of corrugated produced in 2018 was recovered for recycling and almost all of that material was used to make new products.

Why Recycle?

Recycling corrugated packaging decreases solid waste disposal. Collected fiber is then reused to make new corrugated packaging, allowing for the use of less new raw material.  Recycling corrugated packaging also generates revenue for the end-user. Recovered material (called “OCC” or “old corrugated containers”) is a valuable resource to paper mills and manufacturers of new corrugated packaging.

Corrugated Packaging – Extraordinary Recycling Success

Corrugated packaging is an extraordinary recycling success story. Corrugated “cardboard” is recycled more than any other packaging material in the U.S. The industry’s unwavering commitment to increasing recovery has driven these results – demonstrated in its sponsorship of educational programs reaching schools, communities, packaging professionals and buyers, and retailers. This prolonged and focused effort on recovery and reuse is one of many things that makes corrugated cardboard boxes extraordinary, and why consumers should feel good about the boxes being delivered to their doorsteps.

Click here to read a recycling white paper.
Click here for a PDF of the infographic.

How Corrugated Recycling Works

Businesses, retailers and consumers at home collect and return their used corrugated containers to be recycled into new ones. While almost everyone contributes to corrugated’s recycling success, fewer people may know where those boxes go from the collection point, or how they are processed to produce new corrugated material. Here’s how corrugated is recycled:

Click here for a full pdf from the Fibre Box Handbook of the corrugated recycling process.

The Corrugated Recycles Symbol

The Corrugated Recycles symbol can be used worldwide as a cue to box users that the package can and should be recycled. There is no cost or registration process to use the symbol. Use of the symbol on corrugated packaging is strongly supported and encouraged as long as there are no national or local laws or regulations prohibiting its use. Click here for usage guidelines and/or to request high resolution images.