Beverage Industry

Carton recycling available to 45 percent of US households, Carton Council reports

Forty-five states now can recycle cartons

September 24, 2013

Forty-five percent of U.S. households now can recycle cartons through their curbside recycling programs and other recycling venues, the Carton Council of North America reports. This opportunity is due to a voluntary collaboration between private and public sectors that includes industry recycling facilities and local governments, the Vernon Hills, Ill.-based organization says.

The Carton Council, a group of carton manufacturers united to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert cartons from landfills, announced that the 45 percent access is an increase of 150 percent from 2009, when the Carton Council was formed and carton recycling access stood at just 18 percent.  (Click here to view an infographic depicting the increase.)

In 2009, 21 million U.S. households had access to carton recycling in 26 states. Now, 52.5 million households in 45 states can recycle cartons, including residents in New York; Dallas; Philadelphia; Milwaukee; Denver; San Diego; Louisville, Ky.; Arlington, Va.; and Los Angeles.

“More and more communities are coming on board and establishing access for their residents to recycle cartons,” said Jason Pelz, vice president of environment for Vernon Hills, Ill.-based Tetra Pak North America and vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America, in a statement. “Sixty-four of the 100 largest U.S. cities are part of the carton recycling movement and provide access to carton recycling to their residents. The progress in increasing access across the U.S. is indicative of the recyclability of cartons as well as their value through strong end-markets.”

The newest recycling facilities to come on board and accept cartons are Gold Coast in California and Republic Services in Lorain, Ohio. The addition of these two facilities and the communities they serve helped achieve the 45 percent milestone.

“We’re delighted to accept cartons into our recycling program,” said Eric VanHouten, Elyria business unit general manager for Republic Services, in a statement. “The addition of cartons makes recycling even easier for our residents and provides another opportunity to remind them of the importance of recycling.”

Pelz added: “Industry and community support is only continuing to grow across the country, and we are channeling that support into our ongoing efforts of adding access and infrastructure for recycling cartons. We are encouraged by this 45 percent milestone and are even more motivated to move full speed ahead toward achieving 50 percent and eventually 60 percent access.”

The Carton Council currently has a campaign designed to help counties and municipalities, as well as recyclers, bring carton recycling to their residents. For more information about the recent 45 percent milestone, the Carton Council, or the campaign, visit www.cartonopportunities.org.