Most boxes and cartons manufactured in Canada are now 100 per cent recycled content, made completely from old boxes and other used paper material collected from the back of factories, supermarkets, office buildings, or from residential Blue Box programs.
“We have 13 mills across Canada producing nothing but 100 per cent recycled content board,” explains John Mullinder, executive director of the industry’s environmental council, PPEC. The council surveys the industry every two years and has been tracking recycled content since 1990.
“There has been a significant increase in average recycled content over the years,” he says, “From 47 per cent back in 1990 to almost 80 per cent today. Most Canadian packaging mills, in fact, now make a 100 per cent recycled content product, that’s the way they were built. A few mills blend recycled material with wood residues (chips, shavings and sawdust left over from lumber operations), and three mills use wood residues or freshly-cut trees. When you add it up,” he says, “the Canadian industry hardly uses any freshlycut trees to make packaging at all.”