As the October issue of The Grower arrives in mailboxes in upcoming days, note the focus on Storage, Containers and Packaging. The Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) just missed our deadline with this informative piece on how most paper packaging made in Canada is with recycled content.
According to PPEC’s most recent Recycled Content Survey, the average recycled content of the three major paper packaging grades made by Canadian mills – containerboard (used to make corrugated boxes), boxboard (used to make boxboard cartons), and kraft paper (used to make paper bags) – is collectively 81.7 per cent. The remaining 18 per cent is made up of wood chips, shavings, or sawmill residue left over from lumber operations, and trees.
Less than half of one per cent of Canadian commercial forests are harvested for paper-based packaging, and every hectare that is harvested must be successfully regenerated. According to Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) most recent State of Canada’s Forests annual report, at least 427 million seedlings were planted across Canada in 2018 – that’s 48,744 seedlings planted every hour.
In addition, all PPEC-member mills have independent, third-party certification that verifies that their paper fibre sources – which include recycled fibres, wood chips, and sawmill residues – are responsibly sourced. Each mill member has independent chain-of-custody certification for their operations in Canada by one of the three federally-recognised forest certification systems: the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI); the CSA and SFI systems are endorsed by the international umbrella organisation called the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC).
When you add it up, the Canadian paper-based packaging industry hardly uses any freshly cut trees to make paper packaging, and the little that is harvested, 0.2% in 2018 according to NRCan, is successfully regenerated.
Source: Paper and Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council September 24, 2021 news release