The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recently announced that in 2005, a record high 51.5 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling.
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 recovery rate for paper contrasts highly with plastic recycling. In the US EPA’s Report: Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste released in 2003, the recycling rate for plastics was only 5.2%, when plastics represents the second largest category of waste.