Paper Recycling at Record 56%
In 2007, an all-time high of 56 percent of the paper consumed in America was recovered for recycling, achieving a significant industry goal five years ahead of schedule. Announcing the achievement on April 1, the American Forest & Paper Association also set a new goal of 60 percent recovery by 2012.
"Industry is demonstrating a real commitment to environmental sustainability by continuing to set and achieve aggressive paper recovery goals," said association President and Chief Executive Officer Donna Harman.
"While the upward trend in recovery rates is most encouraging, getting to 60 percent is an important challenge for all of us. Everyone has a role to play in our effort to sustain and grow the country's recycling programs and recover more paper," said Patrick J. Moore, chairman and chief executive officer, Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. His company is a longstanding association member and one of the world's largest paper recyclers. The company collected more than 7 million tons of recyclable material in 2007.
The 54.3 million tons of paper recovered in 2007 add up to more than 360 pounds for every man, woman, and child in America. Each percentage point is the equivalent of approximately 1 million additional tons of recovered paper -- enough to fill more than 14,000 railroad cars.