Great news for those who want less waste and lower emissions! The Corrugated Packaging Alliance, an industry association that represents the many makers of paper packaging, released a study last week showing that the use of recyclable coated boxes for shipping wet-packed produce and protein has increased 600% since 2002. Even more significant, the use of non-recyclable packaging has declined by 33%—which comes out to 6 billion square feet of packaging. According to our calculations, that means about 600,000 tons of cardboard material was more likely to be recycled than incinerated or landfilled. If all of those tons were recovered at the national recovery rate for cardboard (a whopping 91%, according to the US EPA), that reduced emissions by 1.8 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, the same as planting 43 million trees.
Global Green USA’s Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) has been working since 2008 to help accelerate the development of recyclable packaging for protein and produce, including hosting a series of pilots that have both demonstrated the strength and usability of the packaging as well as raising awareness concerning the many benefits of using recoverable packaging.
For a look back at the work of CoRR to encourage the use of recyclable coated packaging, check out this video of our produce farm pilots in 2012, and our work with the Mountaire Farms poultry packing facility in 2010.