The PPRC Position Paper on Recycling
Highly recycled paper products should not be included in federal extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation.
Paper Recycling is an Environmental Success Story!
- The U.S. paper recycling rate was 68 percent in 2021. The recycling rate for Old Corrugated Containers (OCC) was 91.4 percent.
- Since 2009, the recycling rate for paper and paper-based packaging has met or exceeded 63 percent.
- According to the EPA, by weight, more paper is recovered for recycling from municipal solid waste streams than metals, plastics, and glass combined.
- Our industry has planned or announced approximately 5 billion dollars in manufacturing infrastructure investments in the United States by the end of 2024 that will allow us to recycle more paper.
- The PPRC opposes government incentives or directives that divert commonly recycled paper away from reuse in products.
- The PPRC opposes recycled content mandates, bans, or fees on paper products. Imposing fees or mandates on paper-based packaging could have unintended consequences on our current recycling success.
- The PPRC opposes government policies that expand the definition of “recycling” to include processes that produce fuel or fuel substitutes for use in energy production.
- The PPRC supports “Recycling and Composting Accountability”, and “Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility”, as they were introduced by the 117th Congress as 3743 and S.3742.
The PPRC believes a one-size-fits all solution does not work for all commodities. Paper’s strong recycling success record is proof that it is part of the solution. Congress should focus on solutions for materials with low recovery rates that contaminate the system, and the elimination of products such as single use plastics.