Monday, March 15, 2010

Great News About Paper Recycling

I could hardly contain myself when I hear the great news about paper recycling the other day. I started my happy dance before Mom could even finish reading me the news. Hooray! I couldn't help it. Great recycling news makes me dance!

We recycle all the paper we can. I always hear Mom saying to Dad "That can be recycled" when he goes near the garbage can. Is this a case of old habits dying hard or just a lack of knowledge on Dad's part? Hmmm. I'm guessing the former because if anyone knows about recycling it's Dad. Years of listening to Mom talk recycling, reusing, reducing, precycling, etc. have impacted him in a good way. He is more conscious of what he throws in the garbage and this makes Mom and I very happy.

Now for the great news. The American Forest & Paper Association reports that in 2008, a record high 57.4% of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling. How cool is that? People are really starting to take action in this arena. Paper that would otherwise end up in landfills is turning up in recycling bins all over the country. So how much is 57.4% of the paper consumed? Would you believe that amounts to 340 pounds of paper recycled for every person in America? Yikes! Thinking about you guys consuming that much paper makes me shudder. Why are you consuming so much?

Not only are we making great strides with paper recycling but we're doing it big. 57.4% is up from 56% in 2007 and 53% in 2006. According to paperrecycles.org, the paper industry hopes to recover 60% of the paper Americans consume by 2012. Lofty goal or totally doable? I say totally doable, but only if everyone does their part. PIAC states that 86% of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs. If you don't have access to either, please ask a friend that has access to recycle your paper.

Paper recovery rates have risen almost every year since 1993. I'm not sure what happened in 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2004 when they didn't rise, but these slight decreases were met with increases the following year.

But what happens to all the paper we recycle? According to the Paper Industry Association Council (PIAC), two-thirds of it is used domestically, with containerboard accounting for the largest end-use with 31%. This domestic usage is great to hear because shipped anything overseas leaves creates a big carbon footprint. Not that using it domestically is carbon neutral but we need to recover and use all that we can on our shores in order to keep the footprint as low as possible.

PIAC also adds that in 2008, over 80% of cardboard containers were recovered for recycling. There aren't many reasons why cardboard can't be recycled. As long as it isn't wet from liquids or stained from food (think pizza boxes) it can go in the recycling bin. Mom hates it that most pizza boxes end up in landfills because they can be added to compost bins.

The global recession has affected paper recycling just like every other business. There was a sharp decline in demand for recycled paper which resulted in decreases in consumption and overall tons recovered. Whose to say what the long term impact of the slowdowns will be as the economy rebounds.

The message here is, as it always is with recyclables, is to close the loop. We must create the demand by purchasing recycled content paper goods. The higher the post-consumer content the better. We must also seek out items that contain recycled content where previously only virgin content was used. I'm talking about books, magazines, etc. We can even encourage manufacturers to use recycled content. We speak volumes with our shopping dollars aka the Big Green Purse.

It's our responsibility to get to 60% by 2012. Will you do your part to make it happen?

30 comments:

Stella, Gunther and Betty said...

WOW! That's a lotta recycling. We recycles too. In fact, Betty even recycles her own poo... Sorry prolly too much information.

Anyhoo, we always love readin' your blog 'cause mom actually learns somethin'.

Love,
Stella, Gunther and Betty

Stubby said...

Hi Stella, Gunther & Betty! Betty really recycles her poo? Yuk! I guess I shouldn't talk because I recycle bunny poo. Betty and I have a lot in common!

I'm so glad your mom is learning stuff by reading my blog. I have so much stuff to post about but Mom still doesn't trust me with the 'puter when she's not home so who knows when I'll get to it.

Stubby xoxo

THE PUGLET said...

My human says 2002 was a bad year for her, so she might be partly responsible for the sucky recycling rate that year.

Recycling paper is so easy - everyone should do it. But recycling poo? That sounds kinda icky, even though I do it too. My poo is green - it goes into biodegradable baggies :)

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Yes Stibby
I will do my part!
We recycle all paper and cardboard.
We do share with the wormies too.
Thank you Stubby for all this wonderful information to help us learn to do our part.
love
tweedles

Apollo said...

My Mommy said that one great way she saves and recycles paper at work is that anything that she receives or is printed only on one side, she cuts it into 4 pieces to use for her own homemade scratch pad. And then after she uses the scratch paper up, she puts it in the paper recycle bin. She shared this with her colleagues. Not only is it reusing the paper, but it has also saved the dept some money in not having to buy as many scratch pads.

Melissa and Emmitt said...

that is such fabulous news!
we recycle paper all the time now. between that and composting, our garbage volume has gone waaaaaay down.
knowledge is power!
go stubby go!
xoxoxo
m & e

Lex said...

Yay!!

My roommate throws everything out and i get so mad. I ripped into him about a feta cheese container the other night! I told him, just leave it on the counter but don't chuck it!! Silly boys.

Not sure if you saw the opening ceremonies for the paraolmpics but the country signs they made using pine beetle damaged soft wood and drift wood! :)

Pearl said...

Stubby, this is such great news that we are making improvements! I hope 2010 brings even more progress!

Momma wanted to thank you for not participating in my escape. She knows how loyal you are to Popeye's. I am back home now.

xoxo
Pearl

Sequoia & Petunia said...

We wills! And we love your new picture.

Dana Orsborn said...

That's a lot of paper!
We're glad to hear the news.

Penny and I hope you are having a great week!

-Dana & Penny

Debbie said...

We recycle paper and plastic waste. The five furry family members have their droppings buried in the garden so they are doing their bit too.

Stubby said...

Hi Puglet! Sorry to hear that your human had a sucky year in 2002 and I forgive her for not recycling that year.

I don't know why people don't recycling paper but then again I don't why people still use plastic bags at the grocery store. I think some people just don't get it.

I think recycling poo is brilliant. There's so much poo in the world that we could probably power everything with it.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Tweedles! I know you'll do your part and that you'll spread the recycling message. I bet your wormies love paper, don't they? They are so good for the earth and I'm so glad they're your friends.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Apollo! Your mommy is so smart! We need more people taking creative steps like she is doing. I bet her dept loves her for saving money and Mother Earth loves her for helping to save the planet.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Melissa & Emmitt! I'm so glad to hear that your garbage has gone way done. Isn't it amazing what happens when we put our thinking caps? There's no reason not to recycle and if a pug can do it then anyone can!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Lex! You are way too smart for your rooommates. Keep after them and hopefully they will start recycling just like you do. Duh - it's so easy!

I didn't see the opening of the Paraolympic games but that is so cool about the country signs. There are so many ways to do reuse things. It just takes some creative thinking to figure out what to use.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Pearly Poo! I know you and your momma do your part to recycle. I hope they have strict recycling laws down in Oklahoma.

I'm so glad you're back home, safe and sound. Next time go to Popeyes - the puparrazi will never find you there!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Sequoia & Tuni! You guys are good recyclers, aren't you? I know you love the planet and want to do all you can to save it.

Thanks for the compliment on my picture. My bloggy is looking a little old these days and I'm trying to spruce it up.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Dana & Penny! Good news is always welcome especially when it involves recycling. I know you guys do your part because Penny is not one to waste anything!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Debbie! I'm so glad to hear that you recycle paper and plastic. What do you do with glass and aluminum? Can you recycle those as well?

That's so cool that the poo is buried in the backyard. Mom wants to do that with mine but Dad does not like the idea. She will continue to work on him until he gives in!

Stubby xoxo

Drew said...

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means for people to find items they need while reducing
landfill waste.

We would much appreciate a review of our site or any
feedback to help improve our service.

Feel free to contact me directly for questions, etc Nicole Boivin – nicole@ecofreek.com.

Stubby said...

Hi Drew! Thanks for stopping by. I'm not familiar with your site but I will check it out and let you know what I think. I'm all about reducing waste in landfills!

Stubby xoxo

dw said...

Hi Stubby! I noticed on my cereal box the other morning that it said it was made from 100% recycled material! I thought that was pretty great! And then when I emptied the box, I put it into recycling....so it's gonna get used yet again!! :)

Stubby said...

Hi dw! Yeah for your recycled cereal box. What kind of cereal was it? Mom used to be the cereal queen but she hasn't really been eating that much lately.

I'm so glad you put the empty cereal box in the recycling container so that it can become another cereal box one day. It may even become toilet paper, who knows! The possibilities are endless!

Stubby xoxo

dw said...

Hey Stubby! I think the cereal was Berry Captain Crunch, not the best of cereals, I know. So I checked my Cheerios box -- just regular boring run-of-the-mill Cheerios. Now the Captain Crunch said it right by the tab on top where you close the box between servings. On the Cheerios box, I looked on the top, the sides, the back...then I finally looked on the bottom and found that it says "100% Recycled Paperboard." I always have cereal for breakfast but I never really thought about where the boxes came from before. I always recycled them after I was done, but now I know to look to see if they are being made with recycled paper. :)

nam said...

a whole bunch of recycling! Dogster Dog here! Just wanted to stop by your blog to award you with our top dog blogger award! I couldn't find your email, so hopefully you get this message. If you're interested, just shoot me an email at nam(at)dogster.com! WOOFS!

Stubby said...

Hi dw! A learning experience for sure! The fact that you know how to look for recycled content is a step in the right direction.

Thanks for being eco conscious!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi nam! An award for me? OMD! I'm off to email you my info right now. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the award!

Stubby xoxo

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lauren Dortch said...

for paper recyclingapproximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.