FSEA Releases Study on the Recycling of Fiber-Based Materials with Transfer Metallic Decoration

The Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) has announced the release of a new report detailing the results from a newly completed study on the recycling of fiber-based materials with transfer metallic decoration. The new study now available through FSEA has taken a further step to test transfer metallic decorated fiber-based materials and how the materials are sorted by Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) throughout the U.S. and North America. Through extensive testing at the Van Dyk Technology Center, the study demonstrates that fiber-based transfer metallic decorated materials are recyclable and are currently being sorted by Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) to be included in the recycling stream.

Read more and request a copy of the new study at FSEA.com

 

A Critical Balance: Virgin and Recycled Fibers Partners in Printing Paper Production

The balance of virgin and recycled fibers in paper and paper-based packaging production is a critical and ongoing consideration by consumers. While the pursuit of environmental friendliness–or the appearance of it–drives the push towards more recycled fibers, virgin fibers are essential in crafting high-quality, durable, and sustainable paper products.

Capitalizing on Complementary Strengths: Both virgin and recycled fibers bring unique strengths to the table. Recycled fibers contribute to the circular economy, reducing the need for fresh raw materials. However, each time paper is recycled, the fibers get shorter and weaker, eventually degrading and unable to bond into new paper. On the other hand, virgin fibers offer essential qualities like strength, durability and brightness. The longevity and performance of the final paper or package are ensured by continually introducing new fiber into the system.

Reducing Environmental Impact: Determining a proper mix of virgin and recycled fibers is a nuanced process. While some argue for exclusively recycled content to “save trees,” the demand for wood fiber is also a driving force in maintaining healthy forest ecosystems, as sustainably managed forests produce two times the tree volumes vs what is harvested. Strong market demand for sustainably sourced paper products provides a powerful financial incentive for landowners to continue to manage their land responsibly and keep it forested instead of converting or selling it for non-forest uses.

Well-managed forests are, by their nature, sustainable, and both virgin and recycled paper offer alternatives to electronic forms of communication that have their own environmental impact, such as e-waste and energy use. A balanced approach acknowledges the need for both sustainable forest management alongside recycling efforts.

Virgin vs Recyled Fibers in Print Paper

Meeting Business Needs: Choosing whether to use recycled or virgin paper typically comes down to the type of use. Most recycled paper contains a proportion of virgin fiber to ensure the quality of the end product. Breaking and separating fibers during recycling impacts the paper’s durability and surface area, and recycled paper products can only be “downcycled,” which means a corrugated box cannot be made into bright white paper, but higher quality paper can be made into recycled packaging grades. Many companies rely on using strong, bright, clean papers from virgin fibers to convey important messaging, provide strength, or be more hygienic. The wrong mix of recycled and virgin fibers will affect the ability to run smoothly through a press or printer and take up ink and other coatings. Ink saturation, registration and brightness may all be affected, creating a different type of end product depending upon the intended use.

Virgin vs Recyled Fibers in Print Paper

Reducing Environmental Footprint through Innovation: Paper is the most reliably recycled material, recovering nearly 68% of all the paper used in the U.S. in 2022 year and almost 94% of all cardboard.

The print and paper industry has contributed nearly $7 billion in recycling infrastructure, with approximately 80% of U.S. paper and packaging mills using some recovered paper fibers in their products. Technological advancements in the paper industry have played a crucial role in maximizing the potential of both virgin and recycled fibers. Innovations in processing techniques ensure the efficient utilization of recycled fibers and other materials without compromising the quality of the final product. These advancements contribute to a more sustainable and circular approach to paper production.

Increasing Consumer Awareness: Educating consumers about the benefits of a balanced mix of virgin and recycled fibers and the role the paper industry plays in environmental stewardship is essential. Two Sides North America researches and publishes an important collection of myths and facts to help consumers and businesses stay informed. Understanding that responsible paper production involves a thoughtful combination of these fibers can empower consumers to make environmentally conscious choices that truly support sustainable practices within the industry.

The union of virgin and recycled fibers in paper and paper-based packaging production is not just a compromise; it’s a strategic alliance embodying the principles of sustainability, quality, and versatility. By striking the right balance, the paper industry can contribute significantly to a circular economy while meeting the diverse needs of consumers and businesses alike.

Survey Shows U.S. Consumers Believe Paper-based Packaging is Better for the Environment than Other Packaging Materials

DAYTON, Ohio, June 26, 2023 –  If you recently made a purchase online, you’re not alone. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that retail e-commerce sales topped $272 billion in the first quarter of 2023, up 7.8% from the same period last year. Along with this continuing growth in online purchases comes an increasing  awareness of the materials used to package and ship products, and the impact these materials have on the environment. A new survey commissioned by Two Sides North America and conducted by international research firm Toluna found that U.S. consumers believe paper-based packaging is better for the environment than other packaging materials.

Paper: The preferred and sustainable packaging choice

Survey respondents were asked to rank their preferred packaging material (paper/cardboard, plastic, glass and metal) based on 15 environmental, aesthetic and practical attributes. Overall, paper/cardboard packaging was preferred for 10 of the 15 attributes, including all environmental attributes, with half of respondents saying paper/cardboard is better for the environment than other types of packaging. Consumers also preferred paper/cardboard packaging for being home compostable (59%) and easier to recycle (43%).

Glass packaging was preferred by consumers for four practical and aesthetic attributes, including being reusable (39%), having a preferred look and feel (39%), providing a better image for the brand (38%) and better protection (35%). 45% preferred metal packaging for being strong and robust. Plastic packaging was not preferred for any of the 15 attributes, and only one in 10 respondents believes plastic packaging is better for the environment.

Consumers demand that brands and retailers do more

Brands and retailers play a crucial role in driving innovation and the use of recyclable packaging. In response to increasing consumer pressure to operate more sustainably, brands and retailers in many sectors, from wine, spirits and soft drinks to candy, cosmetics and apparel are shifting from plastic to paper packaging.

The survey found that 55% of consumers would buy more from brands and retailers who remove plastic from their packaging, up from 49% in 2021. 50% said they are actively taking steps to increase their use of paper packaging, up from 41% over the past two years. 47% said they would consider avoiding a retailer that is not actively trying to reduce their use of non-recyclable packaging, up from 39% in 2021.

“As the call for circular product life cycles grows louder, paper has always had a head start,” says Two Sides North America President Kathi Rowzie. “The paper industry’s longstanding and continuing investment in recycling infrastructure, support of community recycling programs and consumer education on what and how to recycle have transformed the circularity of paper-based packaging from vision to reality. At a time when there is growing alarm about the low recycled rates of other packaging materials, paper recycling is a striking exception.”

68% of paper and paper-based packaging in the United States gets recovered and recycled into new products, and that jumps to more than 91% for corrugated cardboard. In comparison, the U.S. Environmental Protection reports that plastics, glass and metals are recycled at just 9%, 25% and 34%, respectively.

The 2023 Two Sides Trend Tracker Survey queried 1,000 respondents over age 18 across the United States. It is the second of Two Sides’ biennial trend tracker studies designed to explore and better understand consumer perceptions, behaviors and preferences related to the sustainability of paper products.

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Download the press release here.

About Two Sides North America

Two Sides North America (www.twosidesna.org) is part of the non-profit Two Sides global network which includes more than 600 member companies across North America, South America, Latin America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Our mission is to dispel common environmental misconceptions and to inspire and inform businesses and consumers with engaging, factual information about the inherent environmental sustainability and enduring value of print, paper and paper-based packaging.

Media Contact:

Kathi Rowzie, President

Two Sides North America

P:  937-999-7729

E:  info@twosidesna.org

 

It’s True: Paper Products Are Not a Major Contributor to Climate Change. Here’s Why…

by Kathi Rowzie, President, Two Sides North America

If you’ve been following Two Sides or other authoritative sources, you know that the paper products you use do not contribute in any major way to climate change. Why? Because most of the energy used to manufacture them is generated using renewable, carbon neutral biomass. But what does this really mean?

The life cycle of paper, like that of any other widely manufactured and used product, does involve the emission of carbon – the key element in most greenhouse gases. However, with paper, there’s a critical difference.

To put it simply, the carbon released from burning biomass does not contribute to climate change, while the carbon released from fossil fuel does.

Biomass, also called biogenic carbon, is carbon that is absorbed from the atmosphere and stored in trees and other vegetation through photosynthesis. When that biomass later decays in the forest or is burned – either in forest fires or as fuel in a paper mill – its carbon returns back to the atmosphere in an endless natural loop that continuously recycles the same carbon atoms (called the “terrestrial carbon cycle”). Consequently, no new carbon is added to the environment.

On the other hand, the carbon from fossil fuels originates from deposits that have been stored in the earth for tens of millions of years. When coal and oil are extracted from those deposits and burned for energy, “new” carbon from outside the terrestrial carbon cycle is added to the atmosphere. The result is a net increase in greenhouse gases. And that is what’s warming the climate.

In an interesting take on the difference between the two sources of carbon, the U.S. Department of Agriculture compares them to the relationship between landlords and tenants. Biogenic carbon emissions are like tenants who “stay only the duration of their short-term leases, and politely leave over time as the regenerating forest calls them back,” while fossil fuels are “carbon tenants who squat permanently in our home and change the balance we previously had.”

Think about it. Humans have been burning biomass – especially wood – as a primary source of heat for millennia. Yet, as paleoclimatologists have found, not until the industrial revolution, with its massive reliance on fossil fuels, have greenhouse gases begun to increase so dramatically in the atmosphere. Before the widespread use of fossil fuels, the maximum concentration of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) held steady at a maximum of around 280 parts per million (ppm). Since then, however, that concentration has climbed to over 500 ppm, and it continues to increase.

The work of the national and international agencies and bodies directly responsible for the study, regulation and accounting of greenhouse gases is based on the fundamental finding that fossil fuel carbon, not biogenic carbon, is the problem.  Among these organizations are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Energy Agency, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy, to name a few.

It follows then, that a biomass-based industry like papermaking, which uses and emits mostly biogenic carbon, is not a major contributor to climate change. In fact, that’s what the numbers show. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Natural Resources Canada report that the pulp and paper industry in their respective countries is responsible for only 0.5% and 1.2%  of total annual CO2-e emissions. The IPCC states that over the course of a year, the CO2 emissions from the combustion/oxidation/decay of biomass are balanced by carbon uptake prior to harvest, so the net emission is zero. IPCC also states that when used to displace fossil fuels, wood-based fuels can provide sustained carbon benefits and constitute a large [carbon] mitigation option.

It is true that over the life cycle of paper, some carbon is released as greenhouse gases other than CO2. For example, paper that decomposes in landfills releases methane. However, the more paper products are recycled, the less methane is emitted, and paper is recycled more than any other material in the United States. By reducing the amount of paper products going to landfills through recycling, U.S. greenhouse gases emissions were lowered by 155 million metric tons of CO2-e in 2018 – the equivalent of taking over 33 million cars off the road for an entire year, this according to the U.S. EPA.

For more information, download the updated Two Sides Fact Sheet on Paper, Renewable Energy and Carbon Footprint here.

Virgin or Recycled Fiber Packaging? The Answer is Both

For decades now, billions of dollars in recycling infrastructure investment by the paper industry combined with support from consumers, communities and businesses have made the recycling of paper-based packaging an overwhelming success across North America.

Even so, the great success story of recycled packaging has been muddled by competing claims between and among paper manufacturers and the environmental community about how much recycled content packaging products should contain. Unfortunately, consumers, brands and retailers have been badly served by the black-or-white nature of this debate. There’s no question that recycled content contributes to the sustainability of paper-based packaging and to a more sustainable, circular economy. But does every product have to contain 100% recycled content to be sufficiently sustainable, as some insist?

The answer is no. To begin with, recycled fiber has to originate somewhere, and that origin is the virgin fiber that made up the paper product that got recycled in the first place.

Some say that the use of 100% recycled content in paper-based packaging is critical because it “saves trees.” But the demand for wood fiber from sustainably managed forests actually encourages responsible forestry practices that promote long-term forest growth. So successfully in fact, that the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported in its 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment that U.S. forest area expanded around 18 million acres between 1990 and 2020, and forested area in Canada remained quite stable at 857 million acres during the same period. The UN FAO also reported that the greatest forest loss occurred in those regions of the world that use the least wood.

Also, recycled fibers can’t be recycled indefinitely. In the case of paper-based packaging, fibers can be recycled from five to 10 times. But over time, the process of collecting, deinking and cleaning degrades and weakens the fibers to the point they are no longer usable, and that means they must be replaced with fresh virgin fiber.

Without the continuous introduction of virgin fiber into the system, the manufacture of recycled packaging would quickly come to a halt.

For paper products that require additional processing for higher brightness, like those used to package consumer electronics, cosmetics and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, there is also a tipping point at which the environmental advantages of increasingly higher percentages of recycled fiber meet diminishing returns. Like virgin paper production, recycling plants use resources like water, energy and chemicals, and like virgin mills, they generate air and water emissions. The more that recycled fiber has to be processed for use in new products, the greater the environmental burden will be relative to virgin paper manufacture.

What a fair life cycle comparison of the two processes – virgin and recycled – shows is that both processes have their environmental advantages and limitations. For example, although virgin pulp manufacture requires more overall energy than the equivalent process for recycled pulp, it relies primarily on the use of greenhouse gas neutral biofuels while recycled pulp production relies more on greenhouse gas generating fossil fuels. The recycling process generates more waste – from inks, fillers, degraded fiber and other contaminants – than the virgin process, which uses the entire tree and recycles over 95% of primary pulping chemicals.

The point is that, rather than competing with each other, both types of fiber complement each other in a perpetual cycle of sustainability unique to the paper industry, and that’s what we need to tell businesses that use paper-based products to package and ship their goods and consumers who purchase and receive those goods.

We should also spread the word that regardless of whether paper-based packaging is made with virgin or recycled content, it is recycled more than any other type of packaging in North America. In the U.S. for example, the most recent figures available from the Environmental Protection Agency show paper-based packaging is recycled at a rate of 80.9%, with corrugated cardboard boxes recycled at 96.5%. This compares with plastic packaging at 13.6%, glass at 31.2% and aluminum at 34.9%.

It’s important to note that paper products cannot be “upcycled” in the recycling process. This means, for example, that corrugated cardboard packaging cannot be recycled into higher quality paper grades. However, higher quality grades can be “downcycled” to produce recycled packaging grades.

100% recycled content is desirable and environmentally beneficial for many packaging applications, but not for all. Rather than establishing an arbitrary goal of 100% recycled content in all paper-based packaging, or other types of paper for that matter, the ultimate objective should be to recycle as much paper of all types as possible and make the best use of that recycled fiber in products that make the most environmental sense.

 

Paper-Based Packaging Is Preferred By Consumers

Paper-Based Packaging Is Preferred By Consumers

People look to product packaging to help them make decisions about what to buy. Perceptions of practicality, sustainability and quality all play a part.

When asked to rank their preferred packaging materials (paper and cardboard, glass, metal or plastic) based on 15 environmental, practical and visual/tactile attributes, U.S. consumers ranked paper and cardboard packaging highest on 11 of 15 attributes, with 66% saying paper and cardboard packaging are better for the environment.[1]

The increasing consumer consciousness regarding sustainable packaging, as well as the strict regulations imposed by various environmental protection agencies (regarding the use of environment-friendly packaging products) are the factors driving the market for paper packaging.
Mordor Intelligence, 2020

68% of U.S. grocery shoppers ages 18 to 65 years consider it important to choose foods and beverages that are packaged responsibly, and 71% agree that foods and beverages with healthier ingredients should use packaging materials that are healthier too. Paper and glass packaging are considered to have the least negative environmental impact and perceived to be the healthiest options.[2]

Consumers across the United States are willing to change their behavior to shop more sustainably. Nearly four in 10 (38%) are willing to spend more on a product if it is packaged using sustainable materials, and more than a third (36%) said they would consider avoiding a retailer who is not taking steps to reduce their use of non-recyclable plastic packaging.[1]

Most Americans agree that the design of a product’s packaging (72%) and the materials used to package a product (67%) often influence their purchase decisions when selecting which products to buy. For two thirds, paper and cardboard packaging makes a product more attractive than other packaging materials (67%), and a similar proportion agrees that paper and cardboard packaging make products seem premium or high quality (63%).[3]

When asked which types of shopping bags – cotton/canvas, paper, lightweight plastic, lightweight compostable plastic and heavyweight plastic – best fit a variety of attributes, U.S. consumers ranked paper shopping bags highest when it comes to the environment, favoring paper bags for being recyclable, compostable and made from renewable and recycled materials.[1]

Sources:

  1. Two Sides and Toluna, 2020
  2. EcoFocus, 2018
  3. Ipsos, 2018

Paper-Based Packaging Is Practical, Beneficial And Appealing

Paper-Based Packaging Is Practical, Beneficial And Appealing

Paper and cardboard are versatile and effective packaging materials, whether for storage or in transit, displayed in-store or used in the home.

Corrugated cardboard boxes are the backbone of the American supply chain. Some 38 billion packages are delivered safely in corrugated cardboard boxes each year. Corrugated packaging is frequently lightweight and can reduce shipping costs.[1]

Using materials that are not recyclable could cause a brand to be regarded as ‘wasteful,’ and customers may share their unboxing experience for the wrong reasons. In the reverse, using sustainable products will go a long way to helping a brand to cultivate an image of strong ethics and social responsibility.
BigCommerce, 2019

In recent years, unboxing has gone from being a seasonal pleasure, to an online fad, to a powerful e-commerce marketing tool.
BigCommerce, 2019

Most Americans (83%) agree that paper and cardboard packaging can be innovative. In fact, roughly seven in 10 feel that this type of packaging allows for more creative packaging designs than other packaging materials (75%) and that products packaged in paper or cardboard seem more artisanal or hand-crafted (69%).[2]

Corrugated cardboard can be cut and folded into an infinite variety of shapes and sizes and direct printed with high-resolution color graphics. Corrugated is custom designed to fit specific product protection, shelf space and shipping density requirements (including inner packaging that prevents shifting).[3]

With the rise of plastic pollution, countless brands are opting for a more sustainable branding solution when it comes to their products’ packaging. This is where paper comes in. The eco-friendly material is recyclable and lightweight, making it perfect for food, coffee or dessert products. In addition to its environmentally friendly qualities, paper packaging is also easy to customize when it comes to color, text or graphics.[4]

Sources:

  1. Fibre Box Association (FBA), 2020
  2. Ipsos, 2018
  3. FBA, 2019
  4. Trend Hunter, 2014

Paper-Based Packaging Helps Tackle Climate Change

Paper-Based Packaging Helps Tackle Climate Change

There are three ways to mitigate climate change: by avoiding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by storing GHGs (carbon) in forests and forest-based products, and by capturing GHGs from the atmosphere. The manufacture, use and recycling of paper-based packaging contributes to all three.

Sustainable forestry practices increase the ability of forests to capture and sequester atmospheric carbon while enhancing other ecosystem services, such as improved soil and water quality. Planting new trees and improving forest health through thinning and prescribed burning are some of the ways to increase forest carbon in the long run. Harvesting and regenerating forests can also result in net carbon sequestration in wood products and new forest growth.[1]

In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fiber or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained [climate change] mitigation benefit.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2018

The forest products industry plays an important role in contributing to the production of renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuel by using residuals and byproducts (biomass) to produce much of the energy required for its operations. Because trees absorb CO2 when they grow, the international carbon accounting principle accepts that biomass is carbon neutral when combusted for energy.[2]

The carbon neutrality of biomass harvested from sustainably managed forests has been recognized repeatedly by an abundance of studies, national legislation and international policy, including the guidance of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the reporting protocols of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
International Council of Forest and Paper Association, 2020

The U.S. paper and forest products industry reduced carbon emissions by 23.3% between 2005 and 2018. The Canadian paper and forest products industry reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 38% between 2006 and 2016.[3, 4]

The recycling of paper-based packaging avoids greenhouse gas emissions that result when paper products are landfilled. At about 44.2 million tons, paper and paperboard recycling in the U.S. resulted in a reduction of about 148 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) in 2017. This reduction is equivalent to removing over 31 million cars from the road for one year.[5]

Nearly every piece of plastic begins as a fossil fuel, and greenhouse gases are emitted at each stage of the plastic lifecycle: 1) fossil fuel extraction and transport, 2) plastic refining and manufacture, 3) managing plastic waste, and 4) plastic’s ongoing impact once it reaches our oceans, waterways, and landscape.[6]

Sources:

  1. USDA Forest Service, 2020
  2. International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA), 2020
  3. American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), 2020
  4. Natural Resources Canada, 2019
  5. US Environmental Protection Agency, 2020
  6. Center for International Environmental Law, 2019

Paper-Based Packaging Supports Healthy Forests In North America

Paper-Based Packaging Supports Healthy Forests In North America

Sustainable forest management protects one of earth’s most important resources and ensures the long-term ability of the global forest products industry to meet society’s growing needs.

The use of wood fiber from sustainably managed forests promotes responsible long-term forest growth, so successfully in fact, that U.S. forest area expanded an average of approximately 605,000 acres per year between 1990 and 2020.[1] Canada’s forested area has remained quite stable for the past 25 years at approximately 857 million acres.[2]

Demand for paper products means continued demand for trees, which encourages forest landowners to grow and replant to ensure a supply – even in places where there are no trees now.  Through sustainable forest management, tree farmers harvest and replant trees responsibly, taking into consideration wildlife, diversity of plant species and forests’ ability to create watersheds and sequester carbon.
American Forest and Paper Association, 2020

In 2019, 52% of the forest area in North America was certified to an independent, sustainable forest management standard (Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the highest percentage of certified forestland anywhere in the world.[1]

The production of paper-based packaging does not result in deforestation. Deforestation is defined as the conversion of forest to other land use independently, whether human-induced or not. The term specifically excludes areas where trees have been removed as a result of harvesting or logging, and where the forest is expected to regenerate naturally or with the aid of silvicultural measures.[1]

As long as there is demand for forest products, the forest products industry and the landowners who supply the industry will have vested interests in maintaining productive and sustainable forests, as has clearly been the case over the last six decades.
Forest2Market, Inc., 2017

The biggest threat to forests in the U.S. is urbanization, but this threat can be mitigated by healthy markets for forest products, especially for products from highly productive working forests. Between 1982 and 2012, urban development was responsible for almost half (49.2% or 17.7 million acres) of all forestland that was converted to other uses in the United States.[3]

 The conversion of forest to agricultural land is decreasing but remains the largest contributor to deforestation in Canada. Harvesting, forest fires and insect infestations do not constitute deforestation since the affected areas will grow back. According to laws, regulations and policies in place across Canada, all areas harvested on public land must be reforested, either by replanting or through natural regeneration. About 94% of Canada’s forests are on public land.[4]

Sources:

  1. UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2020
  2. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), 2019
  3. Forest2Market, Inc., 2017
  4. NRCan, 2020

Paper-Based Packaging Protects More Resources Than It Consumes

Paper-Based Packaging Protects More Resources Than It Consumes

Paper-based packaging is a versatile, cost-efficient and safe method to transport, protect and preserve a wide array of items. It is engineered to be sturdy, yet lightweight, and is customizable to meet product- or customer-specific needs.

Corrugated containerboard is used to ship and transport everything from electronics to fragile glassware to perishable goods for industrial and residential use; paperboard packages food, medicine and toiletries for handy storage and display; paper bags give customers a sustainable option to safely carry their purchases home; and paper shipping sacks are often used to package and ship bulk materials like cement, animal feed or flour.
American Forest and Paper Association, 2020

Packaging plays a critical role in protecting products and resources, and often helps reduce and prevent waste – especially when it comes to food.[1]

On average, packaging makes up only 10% of a food product’s energy footprint. In contrast, the food itself accounts for about 50% of the product’s energy footprint. So, protecting that food through packaging means keeping a big part of its footprint in check.[1]

Cities exist with the help of packaging. Most of the food and other goods they require are grown and produced outside of urban centers.[1] In 2019, 271 million Americans lived in urban areas; 31 million Canadians lived in urban areas.[2]

The optimal packaging solution provides sufficient protection while minimizing its impact on the environment.
World Wildlife Fund, 2014

Corrugated packaging can be a critical supply-chain efficiency tool for cost-effective product protection from products’ points of origin to their points of purchase and end-use.[3]

When the results of the available field surveys are compared to the acceptable limit for microbial loads on corrugated containers versus reusable plastic containers (RPC) for fresh produce, 100% of corrugated containers met acceptable sanitation standards while percentages as low as 50% of RPCs evaluated did not meet these same standards.[4]

The Recycled Paperboard Technical Association (RPTA) has developed a comprehensive program of testing and management systems, and uses a rigorous auditing process conducted by NSF International to assure brand owners that paper-based packaging products produced at North American RPTA-member mills are suitably pure for direct food contact packaging applications and meet all U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory requirements that apply to recycled paperboard and corrugated board use in food packaging.[5]

Sources:

  1. World Wildlife Fund, 2014
  2. The World Bank, 2020
  3. FBA, 2020
  4. Haley & Aldrich, Inc., 2015
  5. Recycled Paperboard Technical Association, 2020
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