Recycling Corrugated Packaging

Corrugated is the single most recycled packaging material: 93 percent of corrugated produced in 2016 was recovered for recycling, and almost all of that material was recycled into new products. Find out more about corrugated recycling below.

Why Recycle?

Recycling corrugated helps decrease solid waste disposal in landfills.  It also provides fiber that is reused to make new corrugated, so we can use less new, raw material.  Recycling corrugated even earns revenue for the end-user, because that recovered material (called “OCC,” for “old corrugated containers”) is valuable to paper mills and manufacturers of new corrugated.

Corrugated Packaging – Recycling Success

Corrugated packaging has a great 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.

See an infographic below depicting the twenty-year growth in recovery of corrugated materials for recycling.

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 provided from the Fibre Box Handbook on the corrugated recycled process.

The Corrugated Recycles Symbol

The Corrugated Recycles symbol can be used worldwide to both promote the recycling of corrugated and advertise its ultimate recyclability. The symbol may be used without cost or any registration process. Use of the symbol on corrugated 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.