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Food And Beverage Cartons are Officially a Mainstream Recyclable Commodity

Carton Council of North America celebrates 60 percent household access

Food And Beverage Cartons are Officially a Mainstream Recyclable Commodity

The Carton Council of North America is proud to announce that carton recycling is officially mainstream, with 60 percent of U.S. households able to recycle food and beverage cartons through their local recycling programs. This is an important milestone because food and beverage carton recycling is now available to a substantial majority of consumers, according to the Federal Trade Commission green guidelines. 

The Carton Council has been working hard to build a sustainable infrastructure for recycling cartons used for many common food and beverage products, leveraging public-private partnerships. When formed in 2009, only 18 percent of U.S. households had access to carton recycling. Now, 60 percent of U.S. households can recycle cartons, a 233 percent increase.

“This is an exciting achievement that could not have been reached without the hard work and collaboration among our partners across the industry,’’ said Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America and vice president, environment, Tetra Pak Americas. “Thanks to the always-growing list of recycling program coordinators, facility operators and recycling company representatives who recognize firsthand the value of carton recycling, we have been able to achieve this remarkable success and are proud that carton recycling is officially mainstream.”

“This represents not only a tremendous win for the Carton Council, but for the recycling industry as a whole,” said Keefe Harrison, executive director of The Recycling Partnership. “Increasing the amount of materials that can be recycled in a community helps meet local recycling goals. It also makes recycling more convenient for residents, which improves recycling overall. We celebrate this achievement alongside the Carton Council, who is also one of our funders.”

This milestone is significant because, according to Federal Trade Commission green guidelines, the standard “Please Recycle” chasing arrows logo can now be used on cartons.

“Leveraging the strong foundation built with significant access, we remain committed to advancing sustainable carton recycling in the U.S. and growing carton recycling rates,” said Pelz.

On February 1, the Carton Council will launch a new consumer-facing website and a national digital education campaign designed to engage consumers and encourage them to recycle their cartons. The campaign includes creative tools and content that communities can utilize to make sure their residents know cartons are recyclable in a fun and engaging way. Communities interested in getting involved can email [email protected].

The Carton Council is composed of four leading carton manufacturers, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Evergreen Packaging and Tetra Pak, as well as an associate member, Nippon Dynawave Packaging. Formed in 2009, the Carton Council works to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill. Through a united effort, the Carton Council is committed to building a sustainable infrastructure for carton recycling nationwide and works toward their continual goal of adding access to carton recycling throughout the U.S. For more information, visit

In Canada, visit the Carton Council of Canada at

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