We know that a sustainable paper industry is an integrated one that uses both new and recovered fiber for the greatest environmental and economic benefit.
Helping to increase the recovery and recycling of our products is a vital part of our commitment to environmental stewardship. With 19 facilities in the United States and one in Mexico, our International Paper Recycling business is one of the largest recyclers of recovered office paper and corrugated boxes in North America.
We annually recover some 6 million tons of fiber – about 12 percent of total U.S. fiber collection – as well as 2 million tons of additional recyclable material. Our recycling services include secure document destruction; collecting, sorting and processing recovered material; designing recycling plans for businesses; and supplying high-quality recovered paper for use in new products to mills worldwide.
In 2010, nearly 90 percent of Americans had access to curbside or drop-off recycling systems that contributed to an all-time-high recovery rate of 63.4 percent of all paper and paperboard used in the United States. While the exact amount varies by region, local recycling infrastructure and local regulations, most of International Paper’s products can be recovered for recycling.
International Paper is the largest user of recycled fiber in the United States, with 90 percent of our mills using some level of recovered fiber in the products they manufacture and three mills making products with 100 percent recovered fiber. Where it has been determined that recovered fiber meets the food contact guidelines established by the U.S. FDA, we also produce recycled-content paper for food contact and packaging applications.
We know that a sustainable paper industry is an integrated one that uses both new and recovered fiber for the greatest environmental and economic benefit. Depending on the product manufactured, using recycled content can sometimes require more fossil fuel, water, fiber and chemicals, making new fiber the right environmental choice. Also, paper can be recycled only six or seven times before fibers degrade during reprocessing. By producing paper made with fiber harvested from responsibly managed forests, we create a supply of high-quality recyclable fiber that can continually replace recycled fiber that is lost after multiple uses.