When it came to carton recycling, 2015 was a banner year for the Carton Council, and the industry. Thanks to the tireless work of many partners, we made significant progress in growing access, which means more Americans can now recycle their food and beverage cartons.
We finished the year strong at 57 percent access nationwide. That 57 percent represents:
- 67.1 million U.S. households
- 11,500 communities, including 80 of the top 100 largest U.S. communities
- A 217 percent increase since 2008, when access stood at just 18 percent
As we march forward in 2016, know that our focus is stronger than ever and we’ll continue to help those in the recycling, packaging, food and beverage industries recognize and reap the rewards from cartons being a mainstream commodity and a sustainable packaging choice. Furthermore, we’ll support efforts to increase recycling rates in markets where carton recycling access already exists, or is in the process of being added.
Already this year, we are rolling out new tools, like free school lesson plans, and working with various communities to launch local recycling campaigns – all to help increase carton recycling.
In addition to our recycling industry efforts, we continue to gain new partners in the food and beverage industry through our Carton Recycling Champions network. We currently have 21 companies and brands who share our dedication to sustainability and recognize the importance of spreading the carton recycling message to their customers and consumers. It is through all of these combined efforts that we can continue to make strides in our goal to divert valuable cartons from the landfill and deliver long-term collaborate solutions to recycle cartons.
Again, I want to thank you for your continued support and dedication to our shared cause. We look forward to another great year.
Jason Pelz is vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America and vice president, environment, for Tetra Pak Cluster Americas. He can be reached at Jason.Pelz@tetrapak.com.