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U.S. Paper Industry Reaches Record for Containerboard Production in 2021

CONTACT: Tim Ebner
(202) 463-2587,

WASHINGTON — The American Forest & Paper Association (卡塔尔世界杯&2022卡塔尔世界杯) today released preliminary 2021 data from U.S. paper and paperboard mills indicating record containerboard production, the material used to make cardboard boxes.

The preliminary data indicates total containerboard production in 2021 increased 5.6 percent compared to 2020, the ninth increase in the past 10 years.

“Paper products and materials like containerboard help to meet the needs of consumers seeking sustainable choices,” said 卡塔尔世界杯&2022卡塔尔世界杯 President and CEO Heidi Brock. “These are some of the most-recycled materials in the United States – in fact, more paper by weight is recycled from municipal waste streams than plastic, glass, steel and aluminum combined.”

Based on this information, the consumption of old-corrugated containers (OCC) may also reach record numbers with data to be published by 卡塔尔世界杯&2022卡塔尔世界杯 on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

OCC consumption is strongly tied to production of containerboard, and through November 2021 consumption already reached 22.2 million tons, just shy of the previous full-year record set in 2020.

“Consumer demand is growing for sustainable paper products, and our industry is investing to meet evolving customer and consumer needs,” Brock said. “卡塔尔世界杯&2022卡塔尔世界杯 members are dedicated to advancing the circular economy and our shared commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated by our Better Practices Better Planet 2030 goals.”

Paper recycling rates have grown over time and remain consistently high, meeting or exceeding 63 percent since 2009. In 2020, nearly 66 percent of paper was recycled.

“Paper recycling is a success story,” Brock said. “That’s because of the industry’s investments, education efforts, the wide availability of paper recycling programs, and the many millions of Americans who recycle each day.”

The paper industry has completed or announced around $5 billion in manufacturing infrastructure investments from 2019-2023 to continue the best use of recycled fiber in our products. These investments will help increase the amount of recovered paper used by U.S. paper and paperboard mills by approximately 8 million tons – a 25 percent increase over 2020 levels.

The American Forest & Paper Association (卡塔尔世界杯&2022卡塔尔世界杯) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. 卡塔尔世界杯&2022卡塔尔世界杯 member companies make essential products from renewable and recyclable resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative —Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states. Visit 卡塔尔世界杯&2022卡塔尔世界杯 online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper