June 2017 Member Spotlight: Graphic Packaging

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Every year in conjunction with the Paperboard Packaging Council, Graphic Packaging International (GPI) hosts an educational event in the local communities where they have operations. TICCIT (pronounced “ticket”) stands for Trees Into Cartons, Cartons Into Trees, and it is an outreach program for school-aged children that highlights the renewability and sustainability of paper and paperboard packaging.  Volunteers from our carton plants and paper mills visit local schools to teach students about how trees are harvested to make paper for packaging, as well as how those packages can be further recycled into future packaging.  

Students are given an overview of the variety of products made by Graphic Packaging International and the forests products industry. The program highlights the sustainable forestry and renewable materials used by the industry and the recyclability of the many useful products. At the end of the program, each student plants a sapling into a recycled, biodegradable paperboard carton to take home and re-plant.

In 2016 the program reached 16,300 students in 38 communities throughout the U.S. and Canada.  This year it expanded internationally to Mexico, Brazil and Europe, and is expected to reach over 20,000 students, bringing the total to almost 100,000 student participants since Graphic Packaging International began supporting the program in 2008!

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Students receive their own tree sapling as part of their education on sustainable forestry


Graphic Packaging VP Andy Johnson educated students on the importance of paper recycling

April 2017 Member Spotlight: Evergreen Packaging


AF&PA and its members work to promote increased paper recovery through voluntary recovery systems. This work includes providing tools and resources to help communities, businesses and schools start or improve paper recycling programs.

Evergreen Packaging, an AF&PA member, and other carton manufacturers formed the Carton Council in 2009 to increase recycling of food and beverage cartons. Household access to carton recycling in the U.S. has increased from 18% in 2009 to over 60% today.

Increasing recycling access was accomplished by working with materials recovery facilities to add the infrastructure to sort cartons into their own grade of recyclable material and to communicate to consumers that cartons are recyclable. Cartons can be used to manufacture new products such as tissue, recycled pulp, and more. View the infographic below to learn more about carton recycling.

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February 2017 Member Spotlight: WestRock

Alaska’s distance to markets presents a high hurdle for getting recyclables, including fiber, to market. Thanks to an innovative and unique partnership driven by many of the state’s leading companies, Alaskans have found a way to overcome this hurdle and make recycling a reality for hundreds of thousands of residents.

WestRock works in partnership with ocean freight and cargo carriers, retailers and distributors, and local governments and non-profits to make recycling work in Alaska.  The coordination of the valuable contributions by numerous Alaskan companies and government agencies to reduce the cost of collection and transportation is critical to the success of a statewide program. Through its recycling operations in Anchorage, WestRock provides the operational muscle and market expertise to get recovered fiber to end-use mills and other recyclables redirected to sustainable reuse options.  

Thanks to these efforts, population centers like Anchorage enjoy modern curbside recycling service, and residents in remote villages have the ability to recycle materials that would otherwise be end up in limited landfill space.

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WestRock’s recycling center in Anchorage provides recycling services for many of the state’s communities.

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A resident of Nunapitchuk ferries recyclables for further processing.

January 2017 Member Spotlight: Georgia-Pacific and GP Harmon Recycling

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Georgia-Pacific and other paper and packaging manufacturers bought more than 50 million tons of scrap paper in 2015 to use in manufacturing new products such as boxes, cartons, tissue, writing paper, and more. The company’s subsidiary, GP Harmon Recycling, is a global leader in the recycling industry, significantly reducing the amount of paper, plastics and metals sent to landfills so they can become new products that we use every day. View the infographic below to learn more facts about GP Harmon Recycling.


December 2016 Member Spotlight: International Paper Donates Boxes to Wreaths Across America; Ensures Boxes Recycled at Arlington National Cemetery Event

Since 2010, International Paper’s Auburn, Maine, Box Plant has donated 5,000 boxes annually in support of Wreaths Across America (WAA). Worcester Wreath Co., the creator of the non-profit WAA, has been a customer of IP’s Auburn Box plant for more than 15 years and 2016 marks the third year WAA will provide a wreath for every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery. Last year, International Paper’s Recycling business became involved to ensure IP’s corrugated boxes at Arlington National Cemetery were recycled. This year, in addition to recycling the boxes, International Paper has arranged for the wreaths to be sent to a waste-to-energy facility.

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From left: International Paper employee, Marc Belanger, delivers wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery last year; Corrugated boxes are on display as they make their way to transport wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery 1,100 other military burial sites around the U.S. and throughout the world.


November 2016 Member Spotlight: Sonoco Recycling’s Education Center

With a focus on increasing participation in recycling programs, Sonoco works closely in the local communities it serves. Jane Hiller leads Sonoco Recycling’s Education Center and outreach programs in Columbia, S.C., working with more than 10,000 South Carolinians each year, ranging from pre-school aged children to college students to senior citizens. Similarly, Sonoco Recycling is proud to partner with the RecycleMoreSC campaign ( to reinvigorate recycling in South Carolina.

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