In 2008, 57.4 percent of all paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling—that’s 340 pounds for each man, woman, and child in America. Since 1990, when the industry established its first goal to advance recycling, paper recovery has grown by more than 85 percent. The paper industry’s goal is to recover 60 percent of the paper consumed by 2012. Each percentage point increase toward this goal makes a big difference— equating to one million tons of paper, enough to fill more than 14,000 railroad cars. Recovered paper accounts for more than 36% of fiber used to make new paper products in the U.S. While paper fibers cannot be recycled forever, paper is made from a renewable resource, trees.

  • Newspapers - About 75% of all newspapers are recovered for recycling and 35% goes back into making more newsprint. The remainder is used to make paperboard, tissue, and insulation, or is exported.
  • Boxes - More than 80% of corrugated containers are recycled and 58% are recycled into new boxes. Another 14% are used for paperboard packaging, like cookie and cracker boxes
  • Office Paper - More than 53% of office papers are recovered for recycling. These become raw material for paperboard, tissue, and printing and writing papers.

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