Where Recovered Paper Goes

Data for the year 2015 indicate that 33.4 percent of the paper and paperboard recovered in the U.S. went to produce containerboard (i.e., the material used for corrugated boxes) and 11.8 percent went to produce boxboard, which includes basestock for folding boxes and gypsum wallboard facings.

Net exports of recovered paper to China and other nations accounted for 39.8 percent of the paper collected for recycling in the U.S in 2015.


Paper/Packaging Type Thousand Tons Recovered Share of Total
Newsprint 395 0.8%
Tissue 4,477 8.6%
Containerboard 17,373 33.4%
Boxboard 6,130 11.8%
Other - 5.7%
Net Exports 20,701 39.8%
Total 52,040 100%
2015 data    
Annual AF&PA Fiber Survey/U.S. Bureau of Census