Statistics

Recycling & Use of Old Corrugated Containers (OCC)

The OCC recycling rate rose from 88.8 percent in 2017 to 96.2 percent in 2018 before dipping to 92 percent in 2019. The average rate for the three-year period was 92.3 percent.  The volatility was largely the result of trade flows, with net exports of OCC surging 30 percent in 2018 and then declining 14 percent in 2019.

Recovery Rate Graphs 2020_Recovery OCC-source

At Paper and Board Mills
(000 tons)
Net Exports
(000 tons)
Total
(000 tons)
Containerboard
/Unbleached Kraft Paper Supply
(000 tons)
Recycling Rate 3-Year Avg
1993 13,562 2,338 15,900 29,200 54.5%
1994 15,009 3,240 18,249 31,049 58.8%
1995 16,513 3,894 20,407 31,402 65.0%
1996 18,732 2,847 21,579 31,485 68.5%
1997 19,641 2,381 22,022 32,525 67.7%
1998 19,530 2,582 22,112 32,703 67.6%
1999 20,457 2,189 22,646 34,454 65.7%
2000 19,968 2,750 22,718 33,070 68.7%
2001 19,348 2,923 22,271 31,732 70.2%
2002 19,627 3,546 23,173 33,169 69.9%
2003 19,294 4,386 23,680 32,549 72.8%
2004 19,926 4,123 24,049 34,349 70.0%
2005 20,024 4,665 24,689 33,603 73.5%
2006 19,967 5,218 25,185 34,212 73.6%
2007 20,159 5,418 25,577 34,083 75.0%
2008 19,161 6,036 25,197 32,455 77.6%
2009 17,415 6,836 24,251 29,490 82.2%
2010 19,327 7,637 26,964 31,954 84.4%
2011 19,339 9,784 29,123 32,137 90.6%
2012   19,057  10,077  29,134 32,082 90.8% 
2013 19,805 9,177 28,982 32,434 89.4%
2014 20,474 9,170 29,644 33,219 89.2%
2015  21,184 10,141 31,326 33,728 92.9%
2016   21,241   10,315   31,556  34,032  92.7% 
2017
 21,987
 9,276  31,263
35,212  88.8% 
2018
22,598
12,030 34,628
36013
 96.2%  
2019 21,886  10,308  32,195 35,001   92.0%  92.3%

Source: At Paper & Board Mills: "AF&PA's Annual Capacity and Fiber Consumption Survey"; Net Exports: U.S. Census Bureau; CB & Kraft Paper Supply: AF&PA's "Paper Industry Annual Statistical Summary"; OCC Recovery Rate: AF&PA