Paper has a high recycling rate and is diverted from Canadian landfills more than any other material.
Of the total amount of Canadian waste diverted from landfills through recycling or composting (9.8 million tons) in 2018, the majority was paper (36%). Less than 4% was plastic.
The average recycled content of Canada’s three major packaging grades – containerboard (used to make corrugated boxes), boxboard (used to make boxboard cartons), and kraft paper (used to make paper bags) – was 81.7% in 2020, up from 73.5% in 2018. The average has steadily increased from 47% in 1990.
Virtually 100% of all Canadians now have access to the convenient recycling of corrugated boxes, paperboard or boxboard cartons, and kraft paper bags. The actual access numbers, calculated by independent consulting firm CM Consulting, are 96% for corrugated and kraft paper and 94% for boxboard.