The Future of North American Corrugated, A Strategic View, Sarilee Norton put it this way: “Old corrugated containers (OCC) are among the most desirable packaging to resell, but not if the OCC is soaked and contaminated with all kinds of liquids and other substances. As spent boxes from e-commerce deliveries continue to pile up at the curbside on trash day, we will need to find a better way to collect and return this vital fiber source to mills that can reprocess OCC into new paper.”
Walk down the street on garbage day in many towns, and evidence of our love affair with online shopping is plain to see. Recycling bins overflow with boxes from Amazon, eBay, Walmart and others.
All those folded and flattened corrugated cardboard boxes are a testament to Americans’ diligent recycling efforts — to a degree.