According to a news release issued by IP in late October, the agreement “will allow [IP] to recover additional old corrugated containers (OCC) from the waste stream. This agreement with Balcones Resources Inc. will help expand International Paper’s sustainability initiative to increase the recovery of OCC by 15 percent by the year 2020.” Adds IP, “This material will be used in the company’s production of new corrugated boxes.”
Balcones Resources, established in 1994, is a recycling and environmental services holding company based in Austin. The company processes more than 13,000 tons of recyclables each month, placing it among the largest independent recycling companies in the southern U.S. Balcones recently entered into a long-term agreement with the city of Austin to process more than 60 percent of municipal curbside recyclables.
Thomas A. Cleves, IP’s vice president and general manager of containerboard and recycling, comments, “By working with generators and suppliers to identify and capture new sources of recyclable materials, we’re confident that we can further increase our recovery rates in the coming years.”
IP says it already recovers, processes or facilitates the sale of more than 6 million tons of scrap paper each year in the U.S., making it one of the country’s largest paper recyclers. One of the company’s 12 sustainability goals for 2020 targets an increase in OCC recovery in order to extend the useful life of fiber and keep material with value out of landfills.
IP operates 23 of its own recycling facilities around the world and also uses collaborations and acquisitions to recover material. By engaging suppliers with economic incentives and long-term agreements like this one, the company says it intends to divert previously unrecovered sources of OCC from the waste stream.