A Renewed Focus on Residential OCC Recovery
Corrugated packaging and recycling industry groups recently met to review recommendations for increasing residential recovery of old corrugated containers (OCC). The recommendations are a result of research conducted by RRS for the Fibre Box Association (FBA). The research asked more than 1,000 Americans about their residential OCC recycling practices.
Corrugated packaging has a recovery rate near 90 percent for the past seven years. The corrugated industry is exploring how shifts in consumer purchasing patterns could impact recovery. The group recognized the need for a renewed focus on promoting the recyclability of OCC and agreed to proactively pursue a broad set of initiatives to help increase recovery.
These initiatives include activities to generate greater ease of access and specifically address multi-family and rural residential recovery. The group agreed to:
- Promote the use of carts instead of bins for curbside collection of OCC where applicable to accommodate greater collection
- Support efforts to match the frequency of recycling and trash collection to provide for equal access to recycling
- Establish clear and harmonized messages and graphics for household recovery of OCC including what can be recycled and how to do it
- Develop more direct recycling messages on boxes to remind consumers to recycle
- Work with additional groups on recycling education to increase understanding and encourage recycling behaviors
- Support the development of building codes that make recycling easy for multi-family dwellings
- Encourage replication of successful multi-family and rural recovery programs
For years OCC has been a recycling success story. The group believes a renewed focus on its recyclability will spur additional recovery efforts.
The group led by FBA included AICC – The Independent Packaging Association, American Forest & Paper Association, AMERIPEN, Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries, Waste Management, and member companies Cascades, Dusobox, Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, Kruger, PCA, Pratt Industries and WestRock.