The benefits of recycling paper-based packaging include extending the supply of a valuable natural resource (wood fiber), saving landfill space, avoiding greenhouse gas emissions of methane released when paper decomposes in landfills and reducing the amount of energy needed to produce some paper products.
Nearly 81% of all paper-based packaging in the U.S. is recovered for recycling, and more than 96% of corrugated (cardboard) boxes are recycled. Only 14% of U.S. plastic packaging is recycled. In Canada, the national recovery rate of old corrugated boxes for recycling is an estimated 85%, with at least one provincial recycling program reaching 98%. Corrugated box fibers are recycled 7-10 times to make new boxes and other paper products.