Paper Recovery at an All-Time High
The American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) has announced that a record 53.4 percent of the paper consumed in the United States–53.5 million tons–was recovered for recycling in 2006. This is the second year in a row that the paper recovery rate has increased.
The 53.5 million tons represent an increase in recovery of 83.7 percent since 1990, when the paper industry undertook its first serious commitment to advance recycling in the United States, the trade association said.
Currently, Americans recover nearly 360 pounds of paper for every person in the United States, up from 233 pounds per person in 1990.
The recycling rate was made possible by the efforts of AF&PA member companies and the millions of Americans who recycle at home, work, and school every day.
About 86 percent of the U.S. population, or about 258 million people, has access to curbside or drop-off recycling programs, according to a 2005 AF&PA Community Survey.
In order to keep up with global demand for recovered fiber, the industry has set a goal of 55 percent recovery by 2012.
AF&PA continues to raise awareness of the need for increased paper recovery through partnership programs, youth outreach, and resources and materials available on www.paperrecycles.org.
In addition to a searchable database of historical information regarding recovery by paper grade, the Web site also contains recycling guides for schools, communities, and businesses, background and facts and figures on paper and paper recycling, and video and interactive features.