Recycling & End of Life
Paper recovery is one of the best, yet little-known, environmental success stories in the world.
The market for recovered fiber is strong, and is expected to grow by 35 percent between 2008 and 2018. This market is driven not by government mandates, but by economics. Recovered fiber can serve as a low-cost alternative to new wood fiber in many products. Today well over half the fiber used for papermaking around the world is recovered fiber (see chart).*
Because recovering paper makes economic sense, it happens at a high rate. Globally, about 55 percent of paper is recovered, and some countries have significantly higher recovery rates: Europe, 71 percent; Japan, 70 percent; and the United States, 64 percent. By contrast, the U.S. EPA reports that plastics are recovered in the United States at only a 9 percent rate and electronics at 25 percent.
In 2010, we set our Vision 2020 goal to increase recovery of OCC by 15 percent. We contribute to increased fiber recovery rates by expanding our internal recovered fiber capacity, working with suppliers and acquiring new sources of materials for recovery. In doing so, we also divert additional types of paper and packaging materials from landfills.