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The Wax Recyclables Trend

Total wax usage in 2016 decreased 44.4% from 2002. Discover the wax alternative trend, and how it benefits the entire supply cycle.

The corrugated industry has traditionally used wax as a moisture barrier to preserve the strength of a corrugated container holding wet or iced products such as fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry and seafood, but a new study shows a dramatic decrease in wax use over the past fourteen years.

The development of recyclable alternatives has increased the amount of corrugated packaging that can be recycled. In 2005, the Fibre Box Association (FBA) published a recyclability standard that allows alternatives to be tested, proven and certified recyclable.

  •  In 2016, the corrugated industry shipped 12.4 billion square feet of boxes using recyclable wax alternative coatings. That’s over 849% more than the 1.3 billion square feet shipped when first measured in 2002.
  •  Progress has been made in replacing all types of wax treated boxes (cascaded, impregnated, and curtain-coated) with recyclable treated boxes.
  •  51 recyclable wax alternatives have passed certification testing for repulpability and recyclability and have been registered with the FBA.

Corrugated recovery is a true success story.

The recovery rate for old corrugated containers (OCC) has been on a steady climb reaching a record 93 percent in 2016. Today, more corrugated packaging is recovered for recycling than any other packaging material.

 Supermarkets lead recovery efforts.

 Supermarkets are leaders in the recovery effort. Most stores recover nearly all of their used corrugated in backroom balers. Bales of corrugated are then sold to generate substantial revenue and improve store profitability. In addition, recycling corrugated boxes and requesting recyclable wax alternatives demonstrate retailers’ commitment to making sustainable packaging choices.

*Source: Corrugated Packaging Alliance