Recovered fiber markets are complex, efficient and dynamic. They are currently not served well by regulations or prescriptive approaches to specify the use of recycled fibers or dictate what type of recovered fiber is used in products.
The PPRC believes it is imperative that consumers partner with industry and governmental entities to improve the quality of the paper and recyclable materials that go into recycling streams.
The national paper recovery rate has nearly doubled since 1990 thanks to the paper industry’s voluntary investment in building the commercial paper recycling infrastructure. According to the EPA, more paper is recovered for recycling from municipal solid waste streams than metals, plastics and glass combined.
The PPRC recommends:
- Ensuring a continuing, expanding domestic recovered fiber supply to help meet global demand.
- Market forces should guide paper and paper-based packaging recovery and recycling systems to promote waste reduction.
- The collection, processing and utilization of recovered paper should be done in a way that enables the highest value end use.
- Opposing recycled content mandates.
- Opposing government incentives or directives that divert commonly recycled paper away from reuse in products.
- Improving the quality of recovered paper, including public-private partnerships and consumer education.