In keeping with the forest product industry’s legacy as a leader in sustainability, the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has announced a new initiative called “Better Practices, Better Planet 2020: Continuing AF&PA’s Commitment to Sustainability”
This comprehensive set of quantifiable sustainability goals is the most extensive to date for a major U.S. manufacturing industry.
With Better Practices, Better Planet 2020, the industry has set specific, challenging goals for increasing recovery of paper for recycling, increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable forestry practices, while continuing to strive for the safest workplaces possible.
What does this mean for paper recycling?
To remain a sustainability leader, the industry has set a goal to further increase recovery for recycling to exceed 70 percent by 2020. Industry-led efforts to increase paper recovery for recycling are among the best examples of how we are protecting our environment and meeting our economic and social commitments.
•The paper industry has led the way by setting and achieving incremental paper recovery goals since 1990. In the 20 years since, the recovery rate has nearly doubled.
•In 2011, 66.8 percent of the U.S. paper consumed was recovered. By comparison, according to the EPA municipal solid waste data, only 27.1 percent of glass, 19.9 percent of aluminum and 8.2 percent of plastics consumed were recovered for recycling in 2010.
•In 2010, 87 percent of the population had access to curbside and/or drop-off paper recycling
•To help educate students and their families about the importance of paper recycling, AF&PA carried out programs in conjunction with Kaleidoscope and Keep America Beautiful to deliver curricula straight to the classroom. Further, the annual AF&PA Recycling Awards recognize outstanding business, community and school paper recycling programs.