In 2021, 41.1% of the paper collected for recycling in the United States was used to produce containerboard (i.e. corrugated boxes), 12.1% to produce boxboard (folding boxes like cereal or medicine boxes, and gypsum wallboard, i.e. drywall/ facings.), 7.1% for tissue and 5.9% for newsprint. Exports accounted for 33.7%, up from 32.2% in 2020.
54% to 56% of U.S. consumers surveyed believe only recycled paper should be used to make new paper products. However, this is not possible because fresh wood fiber from sustainably managed forests is essential to sustain a viable paper industry. Recycled fiber would not exist without harvesting fresh fiber.