Paper recovery dips in 2012, according to AF&PA report

Paper recovery dips in 2012, according to AF&PA report

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

The American Forest & Paper Association has announced that 65.1 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. in 2012 was recovered.

According to the AF&PA's sustainability report, the recovery rate in 2011 was 66.8 percent.

"Our industry's success in paper recovery is due in large part to the voluntary, market-driven product recovery system that we and so many others have fostered," said AF&PA Board Chairman and Graphic Packaging International President and CEO David Scheible, in a prepared statement. "We will continue supporting education programs and initiatives that help drive awareness to increase recovery."

Since 1990, the annual recovery rate of consumed paper has nearly doubled, and the industry is on track to recover more than 70 percent annually by 2020.

"The recovered fiber market is a complex system in which supply, demand, and global economics all play a role in how much fiber is ultimately recovered," reads an email to Resource Recycling from Jessica McFaul, spokesperson for the AF&PA. "However, the two specific items that we believe may have more strongly influenced the 2012 recovery rate were the recession in Europe and the economic slowdown in China."

The recovery rate has dipped five times since 1990 when the AF&PA began setting recovery goals, according to McFaul. However, she points out that the long-term paper recovery rate trend is up, and the AF&PA should meet its 2020 target.

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