Carton Council of North America drives carton recycling, reaching over 70 million households

Founded in 2009, the Carton Council of North America is a dedicated industry organisation committed to revolutionising carton recycling in both the United States and Canada. Over the past decade, the Council has achieved success by spearheading initiatives that have brought carton recycling to more than 70 million households across the U.S.

This impact has been made possible through strategic partnerships and a focus on promoting recycling technology, local collection programs, and widespread awareness about the recyclability of cartons.

Closeup of robotic arm sorting cartons for recycling

Image: Technology boosts efficient carton recycling processing

Background and initiative – advancing recycling through awareness and technology

Before the Carton Council's establishment, carton recycling faced challenges in both the U.S. and Canada. Limited access to recycling facilities and lack of awareness about carton recyclability contributed to cartons ending up as waste. The Council recognised the urgency to address these issues and took on the mission of increasing carton recycling rates, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable packaging solutions.

The Carton Council's comprehensive approach to advancing carton recycling encompassed several key strategies. By collaborating with stakeholders, the Council focused on establishing local collection programs and leveraging recycling technology to facilitate efficient carton recycling processes. Additionally, the Council actively promoted the recyclability of cartons to increase public awareness and drive consumer participation.

In Canada, the Council provided a valuable platform for carton manufacturers to showcase cartons as renewable, recyclable, and low-carbon packaging solutions. It supported the development of solutions for recycling carton fibers, PolyAl(polyethylene and aluminum), and full cartons.

The results – a culture of recycling in North America

The Carton Council's persistent efforts have yielded impressive results, transforming carton recycling in North America. In the U.S., the Council successfully introduced carton recycling programs in 11,099 schools, fostering a culture of recycling and environmental stewardship among the younger generation. The national carton recycling rate has reached 20%, and there are now seven end-markets for cartons in North America.

Furthermore, the Council's endeavors have led to a significant increase in household access to carton recycling, with 70.8 million households now capable of recycling cartons in the U.S.

Looking ahead – committing to build on success

Building on its decade of success, the Carton Council of North America has set ambitious goals for the future. By 2025, the Council aims to expand carton recycling programs to 16,254 schools, increase the U.S. recycling rate to 25%, and elevate household access to carton recycling to 75%.

To achieve these objectives, the Council remains committed to financing and producing carton-recycling awareness campaigns, providing essential resources to optimise sorting processes, financing pilot projects, and facilitating connections between sellers and buyers of recycled carton bales.

USA and Canada

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