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Fiber Recycling Tool for Packaging Launches in the US

ISRI Fiber Recycling Readiness Tool focuses on recycling post-consumer fiber-based paper, paperboard, and corrugated packaging that will be marketed in US.

Posted by Staff

October 19, 2023

2 Min Read
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The Fiber Recycling Readiness Tool is a new tool to help recycle more packaging in the US. It’s a research-based online resource developed by ISRI that assesses the compatibility of typical consumer fiber-based packaging we use every day with the US residential recycling system. As one of the most widely recycled materials in the world, fiber-based packaging recycling recovers fiber used to manufacture other paper products while producing jobs and protecting the environment.

“Retail shelves across the country are filled with a growing number of fiber-based packaging like paper, paperboard, and corrugated boxes,” says Robin Wiener, president, ISRI. “ISRI’s new tool will provide brands, packaging developers and other stakeholders with clear guidance on whether their packaging will successfully pass through the current recycling infrastructure. This tool is a great advancement for the recycled materials industry.”

The tool is based on industry expert knowledge, including a comprehensive ISRI-commissioned Moore & Associates study on the current Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and paper mill infrastructure across the US. Currently, many brands test their packages’ recyclability by running tests at MRFs and universities specializing in fiber recycling. This tool represents a major advancement in that it captures the package design, processing, and end use in one resource.

“This is an exciting time for the fiber industry. This tool can help brands use Design for Recycling principles for creating fiber-based packaging that can flow through the current recycling infrastructure,” explains Leonard Zeid, Chair of the ISRI Fiber Recycling Readiness Tool. He’s also Executive VP Brokerage and Marketing at Midland Davis Corp. “This can decrease contamination at the MRF and increase the quality of the bale being sent to the consuming mills. I want to thank our ISRI members and staff and the ISRI Brands Leadership Council that participated in creating this valuable recycling resource.”

The online resource automatically scores each criterion and shares a simple, color-coded result that determines whether the packaging meets the criteria (green), has challenges that require modifications (yellow), or does not meet the criteria (red). The tool also provides individualized feedback on design choices that could improve the package’s recyclability.

Billed as the “Voice of the Recycling Industry”, ISIR promotes safe, economically sustainable, and environmentally responsible recycling through networking, advocacy, and education.

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