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International Paper Announces Cardboard Recycling Plan

IPInternational Paper, the world’s largest paper company, has announced a long-term agreement with Balcones Resources that IP says will allow it to increase the amount of used cardboard boxes recovered from its waste stream by 15 percent, compared to a 2010 baseline, by 2020.

Under the agreement, recovered material will be used in the company’s production of new corrugated boxes.

International Paper already recovers, processes or facilitates the sale of more than 6 million tons of fiber each year in the US, which the company says makes it one of the country’s largest paper recyclers. One of the company’s 12 sustainability goals for 2020 targets an increase in old corrugated container recovery. International Paper operates 23 of its own recycling facilities around the world, and also uses collaborations and acquisitions to recover material.

In other waste paper news, a new study shows a decrease in the corrugated industry’s use of wax coatings since 2002, according to research by the Corrugated Packaging Alliance. The organization attributes the 33 percent decline in waxed corrugated cardboard to the development of recyclable alternatives. By developing and using wax alternatives, the industry continues to increase the amount of recyclable corrugated packaging.

In 2012, the corrugated industry shipped 9.4 billion square feet of boxes using recyclable wax alternative coatings. That’s over 621 percent more than the 1.3 billion square feet shipped when first measured in 2002.

Some 46 recyclable wax alternatives have passed certification testing for “repulpability” and recyclability and have been registered with the Fibre Box Association as of October, the COA says.

In July, New Orleans Fish House began testing recyclable coated corrugated boxes as methods of transporting locally caught seafood.  The boxes, made by Cascades Industrial Packaging and Interstate Container, are designed to be recyclable, unlike the paraffin-coated packaging typically used, and also withstand the icy seafood packing process.

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