Where Recovered Paper Goes
Data for the year 2018 indicate that 36.2 percent of the paper and paperboard recovered in the U.S. went to produce containerboard (i.e., the material used for corrugated boxes) and 11.5 percent went to produce boxboard, which includes basestock for folding boxes and gypsum wallboard facings.
Notwithstanding China’s policies to limit imports of mixed recovered paper, total net exports of recovered paper to China and other nations accounted for 38.3 percent of the paper collected for recycling in the U.S. in 2017, up from 37.7 percent in 2017.
Source 2018 Data: Annual Capacity and Fiber Consumption Survey; U.S. Bureau of Census
|Paper/Packaging Type ||Thousand Tons Recovered ||Share of Total |
|Tissue ||4,409 ||8.4% |
|Containerboard ||19,082 ||36.2% |
|Boxboard ||6,073 ||11.5% |
|Newsprint & Other* ||2,943 ||5.6% |
|Net Exports ||20,170 ||38.3% |
|Total ||52,676 ||100% |
*Other includes printing-writing, Kraft packaging & Industrial converting, construction paper and board, molded pulp
Source for Tons Recovered: AF&PA's "Annual Capacity and Fiber Consumption Survey"