May 2006


Paper recovery hits all-time high of 51.5 percent

Washington, DC— The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced that a record high 51.5 percent of the paper consumed in the United States (51.3 million tons) was recovered for recycling in 2005.

This recovery represents an increase of 76 percent since 1990, when the paper industry undertook its first serious commitment to advance recycling in the United States. Currently, Americans recover approximately 346 pounds of paper for every person in the United States, up from 233 pounds per person in 1990. This accomplishment was made possible by the efforts of AF&PA member companies and the millions of Americans who recycle at home, work and at school every day.

In order to keep with the global demand for recovered fiber, the industry has set a goal of 55 percent recovery by 2012.

The AF&PA Recycling Awards are one of the ways the industry is recognizing outstanding efforts and programs, and working to bring awareness to the need for increased paper recovery. For a searchable database of historical information regarding recovery by paper grade, visit


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