Understanding the importance and implications of recycling paper products as well as having actionable tips will help consumers embrace recycling as part of their daily lives, according to the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB), which released a collection of its top data points and tips. “Earth Day is about celebrating and protecting our shared planet. Part of a sustainable future is choosing paper and paper packaging since these can be recycled up to seven times and are sourced from trees—a renewable resource,” said Mary Anne Hansan, president, P+PB. “We are sharing data and tips to bolster awareness and build better paper recycling habits.
Culled from various P+PB research, these five data points provide a snapshot about consumer understanding of recycling of paper products as well as its importance:
- 95% of Americans say they recycle, but fewer than half know the basics of recycling.
- 78% of people who do not always recycle confess feeling guilty.
- Only 57% of Americans realize pizza boxes can be recycled, even though a majority of people have access to pizza box recycling.
- Only half of Americans say they recycle habitually.
- Americans who always or frequently recycle say they are doing their part to save the planet (88%)–compared to those who only sometimes or rarely recycle (67%).
By adopting these five simple tips, consumers can help make recycling part of a daily routine:
- Get Bins: Place recycling bins in the kitchen and other places around the home to make it convenient.
- Prep Boxes: Empty and flatten packaging and boxes, removing excess fillers or food before putting them in the recycling bin.
- Be Accountable: Encourage all family members and guests to pitch in.
- Make a List: Put a list on the bins and trashcans reminding about what is recyclable.
- Be Informed: Check local recycling guidelines at BeRecycled.org.
“We are all caretakers of the planet – so whether it’s choosing paper over plastic packaging or recycling paper products when you are done with them, every decision helps reduce waste,” Hansan added.
Paper based products are made with the planet in mind, as they are created out of a renewable resource—tree fiber. In the U.S., paper companies work with private forest land landowners to grow and maintain forests at a rate nearly double the volume needed to make paper, packaging and boxes. Recycling makes further use of these resources and contributes to a healthier planet.