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Celebrate strong gains in carton recycling this Earth Day

Forty-six states now have access to carton recycling and several states reach significant statewide carton recycling access milestones

The Carton Council of North America (CartonOpportunities.org) announces 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% 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% access for the entire state while Ohio added access for 174,000 households, and increased access from 59% to 63%.
  • Nevada increased access from 1% to 10%.
  • Kansas increased household access from 6% to 16%.

Many states have been recognizing that cartons are a highly recyclable material that belongs to their recycling programs. These include:

  • Rhode Island, 100% access
  • Washington, D.C. , 100% access
  • Delaware, 100% access
  • Connecticut, 94% access
  • Maryland, 89% access
  • Arizona, 86% access

The Carton Council anticipates reaching 55% 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. Including cartons as an accepted material in every curbside recycling program offers a better, more cost-efficient option than other proposed recovery solutions.

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