The McLean, Va.-based Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB) says its members, which consist of box makers, are promoting an industry-wide residential recycling initiative “at foreground” at the October Pack Expo event in Chicago.
P+PB says its “Pack to the Future” exhibit at the expo, which runs October 23-26, will allow event attendees to “learn more about this informative program and experience a journey of engrossing virtual reality (VR) in a futuristic, time-traveling corrugated car.
The exhibition is linked to the “Box to Nature” residential recycling campaign developed by P+PB, participating paper and corrugated board manufacturing companies and industry partners. The initiative partners box makers and e-commerce brands to print a reminder graphic on their boxes that encourages consumers to recycle.
According to P+PB, “The Box to Nature program differs from other packaging recycling initiatives because it specifically addresses the recycling behavior of paper packaging, much of which is related to e-commerce shipping boxes.”
Such boxes, collected and sorted by recyclers like old corrugated containers (OCCs), have become increasingly common in the residential recycling mix, according to material recovery facility (MRF) operators.
The Box to Nature graphic provides specific instructions on how to prepare (empty, flatten, recycle) these boxes, and a QR code that directs them to the Box2Nature.org website, where they can find additional recycling information. When the message was tested before the program launched, 75% of consumers indicated that they would be more likely to recycle their e-commerce box after being exposed to the graphic, according to P+PB.
“Putting the Box to Nature graphic on every box not only helps brand customers understand how easy it is to recycle properly and thanks them for it, but it also shows them that the paper industry is taking positive steps towards sustainability. says Mary Anne Hansan, President of P+PB.
While the primary goal is to increase the recycling rate of residential boxes and recover more fiber to make new paper-based products, participating brands also achieve improved consumer perception due to the association with their choice to use sustainable and recyclable paper-based products. packaging, specifies the organization.
Hansan adds, “The growth of e-commerce delivery has made increasing residential recycling an imperative. However, our research revealed that two out of three consumers admit that they do not always recycle. Getting this recycling information out of boxes and educating consumers on how to do it correctly is a big step in the right direction.