Cardboard bales
AF&PA reports that the three-year average OCC recycling rate has been 92.3 percent.
© Norman Chan -

Paper recycling rate at 66.2 percent in 2019

The recycling rate of OCC has remained at about 92 percent for three years.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, has announced that 66.2 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2019. The recycling rate for old corrugated containers (OCC) was 92 percent in 2019, and the three-year average OCC recycling rate has been 92.3 percent, AF&PA reports in a news release.

“Paper recycling continues to be an environmental success story. More than twice as much paper is recycled than is sent to landfills, saving an average of 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space for each ton of paper recycled,” says Heidi Brock, AF&PA president and CEO. “This is a testament to consumer behavior and an industry commitment to paper recycling. AF&PA members continue to invest in manufacturing infrastructure that will allow us to recycle even more paper in the years ahead.”

According to the AF&PA, the U.S. paper industry has achieved a high recycling rate, meeting or exceeding 63 percent since 2009.