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Paper recovery rate rises

While federal and state officials contemplate a wide range of regulations to stimulate the development of a recycling infrastructure, the paper industry has been doing just fine on its own, thank you.

According to a recent survey by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), the paper recovery rate will reach some 44% in 1995, a robust 3% increase in only one year. Increased recovery of materials is good news for packagers, since such progress may help blunt efforts for restrictive and burdensome regulations on packagers. The industry has established a 50% recovery rate goal by 2000. The survey also found solid growth in domestic consumption of recovered paper, which is fueling capacity of new paper production.

For example, growth in paperboard capacity--led by recycled containerboard--will lead all grades of paper, with an estimated 3.3% annual growth rate between 1994 and 1998. Of paperboard growth, containerboard grades are expected to grow at 3.8% annually and boxboard grades will grow at 2.6% annually. Total U.S. capacity for all paper and paperboard will increase to 103.1 million tons in 1998, up from 93.3 million tons in 1994. That represents an average annual growth rate of 2.5% for all grades of paper and paperboard.

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