There is good news from the home front of recycling, especially the recycling of cartons. It seems that 2013 was a banner year for carton recycling with almost half of the U.S. households having access to this environmental friendly function.
According to a 2014 January article featured in Packaging Digest, a packaging industry periodical, 48 percent of U.S. households are now able to recycle their used cartons, a 16.4 percent increase brought about by the increase from 43 to 45 states recycling.
In 2009, only 18 percent of U.S. households had the availability of carton recycling and with the efforts of the Carton Council of North America, made up of carton manufacturers, they were able to influence the private and public sectors, recycling facilities along with local governments to voluntarily implement programs that now increased the recycling accessibility to 56.1 million U.S. households representing a 160 percent increase in just 4 years.
One of the programs implemented was to teach school-aged children the importance of the proper disposing of their milk and juice cartons and how this benefits the environment. These lessons were then taken home to their parents, which then give impetus to implement the practice at home.
With the ever-increasing use of cartons to package foods and drinks, the public can now have more ways to recycle these packages. Larger communities like Tampa, FL., Memphis TN., and Columbus, OH. have come onboard to implement recycling programs for their citizens. With the Carton Council’s efforts to initiate public education campaigns such as direct mail, television public service announcements, local newspaper ads, digital ads, social media activities and community event outreach programs, carton recycling is becoming an ever-increasing practice.
Encouraged by the many awards they have received for their past work such as the 2013 Bow and Arrow Award for Coalition Building given by the California Product Stewardship Council and the 2013 Outstanding Recycling Partnership Award given by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, the Carton Council is determined to continue the expansion of carton recycling in 2014.
Recognizing cartons, that are made from a renewable resource paper, are extremely versatile in packaging food and liquid products because of its lightweight, compact design and low carbon footprint and are a sustainable packaging alternative that will have increase use in the food industry. With this increase, the Council is making sure that the environment will benefit by its proper disposal at the end of its life cycle.
You can get more information by going to www.CartonOpportunities.org on how the Carton Council has campaigns to help counties, municipalities and recyclers in introducing carton recycling to their residents.