Paper and cardboard are everywhere, from our cereal boxes in the morning to the paper used at work and school; and not to forget the packages waiting at our doorstep! It would be tough to find materials we use more in a 24-hour period than cardboard and paper. Yet, consider these stats:
Corrugated containerboard, what many refer to as cardboard, is the single most recycled material in the U.S. But in central Ohio, cardboard is one of the top materials thrown away, after food waste. Magazines, newspaper and mixed paper aren’t far behind. The good news is that when we all do our part, those materials have some of the highest U.S. recycling rates. According to the American Forest & Paper Association:
On a local level, we can do even more. That extra few minutes it takes to flatten and place those boxes in a recycling bin not only has a positive impact on the environment, but it generates a thriving economy where you live.
Recycling Right Bolsters Ohio’s Economy
Greif, headquartered in Delaware, Ohio and Pratt Industries, headquartered in Georgia, are two companies that rely on our fibrous recyclables. Combined, both companies employ more than 1,700 Ohioans and play a significant economic development role in the Buckeye State.
With 10 Ohio facilities, Pratt Industries is a leading supplier of sustainable, custom packaging solutions. In 2019, Pratt opened one of the largest and most-advanced 100% recycled paper mills, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. As a company, Pratt produces more than 100-million boxes in Ohio every year.
Greif is a $6 billion global industrial packaging manufacturer and leading recycler in North America with nine recycling plants and papermills in Ohio. Greif produces 1.5 million tons of paperboard a year, 95% of which is made from recycled material.
Greif and Pratt are just two of dozens of recycling-reliant companies in Ohio that buy, collect and sort wastepaper material. The material recovered from homes and businesses and diverted from landfills provide Ohio paper mills with the raw fiber used to make new products that range from new corrugated sheets and packaging boxes to tubes and cores for paper, plastic films, floor coverings, and more. Once these products fulfill their original purpose, the cycle begins again.
Ohio’s ability to sustain a vibrant recycling program has a huge impact on whether companies like Greif, Pratt and hundreds of other companies choose to continue doing business in Ohio. That sustainability can start with you. Take a few minutes to check out SWACO’s Recycle Right program, which offers easy tips to understand what is and is not recyclable, and how you can support Ohio's circular economy.