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October 2004

Domestic and Overseas Demand Requires Gretaer Paper Recovery

Washington, DC— The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced the release of three new brochures designed to increase paper recycling in schools, workplaces and communities interested in implementing new recycling programs or improving existing recycling programs.

Last year AF&PA announced a new goal to recover 55 percent of all paper consumed in the U.S. by 2012. Current paper recovery rates are at an all-time high of 50.3 percent. The 55 percent goal can only be achieved if individuals, businesses, communities, and the paper industry continue to promote the importance of paper recycling for the economy and the environment.

“AF&PA and its partners including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Keep America Beautiful, and CarrAmerica, are working hard to educate the public on the very important role they play in paper recovery,” said W. Henson Moore, president and CEO, AF&PA. “Paper recycling has an impressive history; however, we can all do more to boost the amount of recycled materials available to make new products by continuing to increase the amount of paper and paperboard recovered for recycling. AF&PA’s recycling guides are designed to aid citizens, municipalities and businesses committed to improving our environment through increased paper recovery and recycling.”

Recovered paper is an important raw material for the U.S. paper industry. More than 80 percent of all paper mills in the United States use recovered paper to make their products. Nearly 200 U.S. mills exclusively use recovered paper. Of the paper currently recovered in the U.S., 95 percent is recycled into new paper products and the balance is used in other applications. More than 37 percent of all the raw material used to make new paper comes from recovered paper.

Still, greater collection of more high-quality papers is necessary to ensure the continued production of new recycled content paper products. As domestic and export demand for U.S. recovered paper continues to grow, domestic supply will be squeezed by an anticipated 50 percent surge in U.S. exports of recovered paper. Most of that demand will come from Asia, particularly China.

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