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Circular Economy

We All Play a Role in the Success of the Paper Packaging Circular Economy

Sponsored by The Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council
Sponsored by The Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council

The paper packaging industry is an extremely successful example of how the circular economy can function.

As a circular economy, the paper packaging industry mostly uses recycled materials to provide innovative and environmentally sustainable packaging solutions for Canadians.

The industry uses a renewable resource from sustainably managed forests and primarily utilizes recycled content for the production of paper packaging, which keeps valuable raw materials out of landfills and reduces the need to use fresh trees. In fact, fewer than half of one per cent of Canadian commercial forests are harvested for paper packaging. 

Canadians actively recycle their paper packaging and the industry utilizes that recycled content in the production of new materials, ensuring a high level of recycled content in packaging. Most domestic shipments (81.7 per cent) of the three major paper packaging grades in Canada — containerboard (corrugated boxes), boxboard cartons (such as cereal and shoe boxes), and kraft paper (paper bags) — are made from recycled content. The small, but essential, act of recycling is critical to ensuring that paper products get remade into new products again and again. 

Using less, making less, and recycling are critical to ensure a healthy, sustainable planet. Let’s all do our part to recycle all paper products and continue to build on the successful paper packaging circular economy, protecting our environment and precious resources. 

Paper Packaging: 

One of Canada’s Original Circular Economies

Sustainably Managed Forests

  • Trees are a renewable resource
  • Every hectare of commercial forest harvested in Canada must be regenerated

Mills:

Produce the basis for paper packaging
  • Produce containerboard, boxboard, and kraft paper
  • Majority use 100% recycled content
  • Add new fibre to the mix when necessary

Converters:

Convert paper into packaging
  • Produce the recyclable products we are familiar with
    • Corrugate (cardboard) boxes
      Paperboard (cereal, cracker) boxes
    • Paper bags (sugar, flour)
    • Leftover materials are recycled

Recyclers:

Recover and recycle
  • Produce the recyclable products we are familiar with
    • Corrugate (cardboard) boxes
      Paperboard (cereal, cracker) boxes
    • Paper bags (sugar, flour)
    • Leftover materials are recycled

Customers:

Send paper packaging for recycling
  • Commercial (retail, grocery, office)
  • Industrial (foodservice, manufacturing)
  • Residential (Blue Box)
  • Return paper packaging back to circular recycling loop

To learn more about Canada’s paper packaging circular economy, visit ppec-paper.com.


The Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council is the national voice for the Canadian paper packaging industry on environmental issues.

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