AF&PA Reports 2012 Paper Recovery Rates

Association also reports that domestic papermaking capacity declined by 1.6 percent in 2012.

April 2, 2013
Recycling Today Staff

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, D.C., has released year-end 2012 data showing that 65.1 percent of the paper generated domestically was recovered for recycling in 2012. The figures came from information gleaned from the release of the AF&PA’s 53rd Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard and Pulp Capacity.

“Paper recovery is a success in our country because of the commitment millions of Americans make each day to recycling, whether it’s at home, work or school,” says Donna Harman, AF&PA president and CEO.

“Our industry’s success in paper recovery is due in large part to the voluntary, market-driven product recovery system that we and so many others have fostered,” adds David Scheible, AF&PA board chairman and president and CEO of Graphic Packaging International. “We will continue supporting education programs and initiatives that help drive awareness to increase recovery.”

According to the AF&PA, the annual paper recovery rate has nearly doubled since 1990 and remains above the trend line for the industry to achieve its goal of recovering more than 70 percent by 2020.

Along with the recycling rate, AF&PA’s report shows that total U.S. paper and paperboard manufacturing capacity declined by 1.6 percent in 2012. However, the association says total capacity is expected to hold essentially stable over the next three years.

The survey shows that paper and paperboard capacity is expected to decline 0.4 percent in 2013 but to rise 0.6 percent in 2014 and 0.2 percent in 2015. For the three-year projection period, paper and paperboard capacity is expected to rise 0.4 percent at an average annual rate of 0.1 percent.

Tissue paper and containerboard grades are slated to add capacity during the next three years, while capacities for newsprint and printing-and-writing paper grades are expected to decline, according to the AF&PA. The survey findings indicate that boxboard capacity will hold essentially stable.

The survey reports U.S. industry capacity data for 2012 through 2015 for all major grades of paper, paperboard and pulp, based on a comprehensive survey of all U.S. pulp and paper mills. Survey respondents represent about 90 percent of the U.S industry capacity.