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Get the facts, not fiction on Canadian paper boxes

The Canadian paper packaging industry's environmental council, PPEC, today announced the launch of a new website specifically focussed on paper boxes or boxboard cartons: paperboxescanada.org

"There is information (and a lot of misinformation) about paper boxes scattered all over the place," said PPEC Executive Director, John Mullinder. "What we are trying to do here is to ensure that customers and consumers have easy access to accurate, concise, and current information on the paper boxes used in Canada."

The website has sections on the different types of cartons and what they are made from; the renewability of Canada's forest resource; the mills' high use of recycled content; and the widespread recyclability and compostability of the boxes themselves. There is a section on public policy issues such as the responsible sourcing of paper materials and the pioneering efforts of the industry to launch old boxboard recovery back in the 1990s. Today, virtually all Canadians can recycle it. There's even a quiz and a "Fact and Fiction" section.

"No, we do not race out with a chainsaw every time we need a new box," said Mullinder. "Paper cartons are made from a renewable resource that is continuously regenerated. The forest industry plants more than a thousand new tree seedlings per minute, and meets all provincial regulations on sustainable forestry." He added that all council member mills were certified by independent third parties for the raw materials they used to make boxes, and that most of the paper cartons made in Canada were already 100% recycled content. Some 95% of Canadians were able to recycle the cartons after use. A factsheet summary follows. For the new website, go to http://www.paperboxescanada.org/

In addition to the PPEC website, which covers environmental issues impacting paper packaging in general, the council now has three websites specifically focussed on the major paper packaging types (corrugated www.corrugatedboxescanada.org, bags www.paperbagscanada.org and now boxboard cartons http://www.paperboxescanada.org).

The Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) is a national trade association representing the Canadian paper packaging industry on environmental issues. Its membership includes paper mills producing containerboard, boxboard, and kraft paper packaging grades and the converters who turn this into corrugated boxes, paper bags and sacks, and boxboard or paperboard cartons. Associate members include material processors and recyclers, and suppliers of other goods and services to the industry.

The words boxboard, paperboard, cartons, and cardboard are variously used to describe the thin, lightweight paper package that carries items such as cereal, shoes, toys, and crackers.

Made from a renewable resource (wood):
By law, Canadian provinces require that harvesters of the commercial forest regenerate the forest by new tree-planting and direct seeding, and natural regeneration. On average, more than 1,000 new tree seedlings are planted in Canada every minute.


Independent, third-party certification of paper fibre sources:
All PPEC-member mills producing boxboard material have independent, third-party certification that their paper fibre sources (whether wood chips and sawmill residues or recycled fibres) are responsibly sourced.

High in recycled content:

Most paper boxes manufactured in Canada are 100% recycled content, made from old corrugated boxes collected from supermarkets and factories or from curbside, used printing and writing paper; old newspaper or old boxboard itself.


Virtually all Canadians (95%) can now recycle old boxboard thanks to the pioneering efforts of the industry and some of its customers in the early 1990s. Back then, most boxboard went straight to landfill after use. The industry's environmental council (PPEC) led North America in coordinating trials with Ontario municipalities and mills, growing the market step by step. Today, basically every Canadian can recycle this material. There is no need for it to go to waste.

PPEC pioneered the composting of old boxboard in North America back in the early 1990s, commissioning trials at the Macdonald farm campus of McGill University in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in Quebec, and following it up with commercial trials in Ontario. Both trials indicated that an acceptable compost could be produced. In PEI and Nova Scotia today, more old boxboard is sent for composting than is sent for recycling.


Source: The Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)


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