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The Carton Council of North America is proud to announce that just over one million households had cartons added to their recycling programs between January and March 2014, bringing the total of U.S. households with access to 56,970,294. The Carton Council is a group of carton manufacturers united to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill.
“This tremendous momentum we are seeing is indicative of the growing demand and need for carton recycling across the entire country,” says Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America and vice president, environment, Tetra Pak North America. “As we celebrate Earth Day, we should also celebrate the gains in making it easier to recycle cartons. Cartons provide high-quality, valuable fiber and have a secure end market. Adding them to curbside recycling programs is good business and makes good sense.”
Several achievements contributed to the more than one million household additions to carton recycling access this year:
• South Dakota joined the count as the 46th state to offer carton recycling and establishing access for 19 percent of its households.
• The largest household gains occurred in New York and Ohio. New York added access for 180,000 households and increased to 72 percent access for the entire state while Ohio added access for 174,000 households, and increased access from 59 percent to 63 percent.
• Nevada increased access from 1 percent to 10 percent.
• Kansas increased household access from 6 percent to 16 percent.
Many states have been recognizing that cartons are a highly recyclable material that belongs to their recycling programs. These include:
• Rhode Island, 100 percent access
• Washington, D.C. , 100 percent access
• Delaware, 100 percent access
• Connecticut, 94 percent access
• Maryland, 89 percent access
• Arizona, 86 percent access
The Carton Council anticipates reaching 55 percent household access to carton recycling nationwide this year.
Made mainly from paper, a renewable resource, lightweight and compact in design and with a low carbon footprint, cartons have proven to be a sustainable packaging solution that is growing in use for a variety of liquid and food products, according to the council. Including cartons as an accepted material in every curbside recycling program offers a better, more cost-efficient option than other proposed recovery solutions.
The Carton Council currently works with counties and municipalities, as well as recyclers, to bring carton recycling to more U.S. residents. For more information, visit CartonOpportunities.org.