Recycling Product News Logo

This ad will close in 15 seconds

Future looks bright for recovered polycoated aseptic and gable top commodity prices according to Carton Council

PSI Grade #52 prices up and down since introduced in 2011

Future looks bright for recovered polycoated aseptic and gable top commodity prices according to Carton Council

Company info

777 Bay Street, Suite 2902
PO Box 133
Toronto, ON
CA, M5G 2C8

Website:
recyclecartons.ca

Read more

101 Corporate Woods Parkway
Vernon Hills, IL
US, 60061

Website:
recyclecartons.com

Read more

Polycoated cartons, both aseptic (shelf-stable) and gable top (refrigerated) were given their own ISRI Paper Stock Industry (PSI) classification - PSI Grade #52 - in 2011. According to Isabelle Faucher, managing director of the Carton Council of Canada (CCC) this was a milestone for the industry.

"We consider it a milestone because it gave cartons recognition as a standalone grade, with ISRI being the key reference body for the specifications," says Faucher. She says the benefits of a dedicated grade are two-fold. "There's the environmental aspect and the economic one," she says. "From an environmental standpoint, there's a maximization of the actual yield of fibre when cartons are pulped for recycling on their own, as opposed to being processed with other fibres. From an economic standpoint, the price paid for cartons as a standalone grade, since 2011, has been more stable and consistent." 

According to Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects, Carton Council of North America (of which CCC is a part), since PSI Grade #52 as a commodity was created, the Carton Council's focus has been to grow end markets wherever possible.

"Over the last six to eight months the market for Grade #52 has really grown," remarks Pelz. "More companies are seeing the value of cartons for the quality fibre and the poly and aluminum fractions." Plus, he says cartons can compete with more established grades as demands change. "Grade #52 is a good replacement for sorted office paper," he says as an example. "While some fibre commodities go down in availability, #52 is readily available, offering good fibre, as well as plastic and aluminum content, that can be used in a variety of emerging end markets."

The price paid for grade #52
A look at Ontario commodity price trends over the last two years, using the Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF) Price Sheet (www.thecif.ca/cf-price-sheet) reveals an initial rise in the commodity price of Grade #52 coming out of 2016, with a high of $120 CDN/tonne in February 2017. The price was down below $40/tonne by the end of the year, and in March 2018 remained close at $42/tonne. Looking back further, CIF data shows #52 prices went from an average of about $57/tonne in 2011, to about $114/tonne in 2016. 

The price paid for the grade has been similar throughout North America as a whole during this same time period.

"The price of Grade #52 in North America dropped through 2017," confirms Pelz, "but there has been a steady increase since November. Currently, the price for Grade #52 varies from a low of about $40 to $45/tonne to a high of $80 to $85/tonne, FOB shipping point" [the price at the seller's dock]. 

"Domestically and globally, markets for Grade #52 are growing," he continues, adding that the U.S. has multiple major domestic buyers of cartons currently, both new and established, and countries including Mexico, Japan, Korea and Thailand are steadily increasing the amount of Grade #52 they are buying. 

"There have been issues over the last few years with some mills being overcapacity, and so #52 was not moving," adds Faucher. "But now that we have had new markets come online in North America, and those issues seem to have been resolved, we're confident that we're going to see the price continue to rise."

Minimal Effects from China's scrap import policies
With respect to the scrap import restrictions that have come in to play from China over the last year, Faucher and Pelz agree - it has little direct effect on the market for recovered Grade #52. 

"There are no buyers, no recyclers of cartons in China, that I'm aware of, so it's not affecting us directly," Faucher says. She admits however that there is some indirect impact, simply because of the extremely high purity levels set by China on mixed paper. "Cartons are considered a contaminant, along with many other non-mixed paper items that may be in mixed paper bales," she notes.

Pelz agrees that the restricted import policies from China over the last year, have had minimal effect on the market for Grade #52 specifically. "Cartons have been affected indirectly by scrap import policies in China because everybody in the recycling industry has been affected," says Pelz. "I don't think there is a commodity out there that has not been affected somewhat by China's recent changes in policy. But cartons, Grade #52, do not flow from the U.S. to China - they never have."

Out of the "Mixed"
If one compares the market price for Grade #52 to Mixed Paper (referring again to the CIF Price Sheet for Ontario) it is notable that as of March 2018, Mixed Paper prices were around $18/tonne, well below the price for Grade #52. Its price as a commodity has tracked above mixed paper off and on since 2011, so this is not a huge surprise. It's significant though because it makes the case for the value of increased sorting of Grade #52 from mixed streams - a practice the Carton Council of North America has promoted heavily from their start in 2009. 

"If a facility does not sort cartons, typically, they'll put them in with the Mixed Paper. But recently the price paid for cartons has been higher than the price paid for Mixed Paper," says Faucher. "In Ontario, currently we're seeing Mixed Paper prices pretty close to zero, or negative. So cartons are worth more again, relatively.

"For those that don't separate their Grade #52 from mixed paper, they are losing out on getting the highest value for a resource that continues to grow in demand." 

Moving forward
At this year's Canadian Waste Resource Symposium, held March 13-15 in Quebec City, Isabelle Faucher told delegates about the Carton Council of Canada's comprehensive strategy to increase carton recycling across the country. She said the primary lever of the strategy is driving information and knowledge resources to the participants in the entire carton value chain, from consumers to recycling companies, to the brand-holders which use cartons to package their products. 

Faucher emphasized their endeavours in helping MRF operators improve performance at their facilities, pointing to the CCC's work in sharing best practices and recent work with individual MRFs to determine their best solution for positive sorting - separating cartons from other materials to achieve maximum value. 

"Increasing consumer participation is also an important part of our comprehensive strategy," said Faucher at the symposium in March. "The CCC wants to make sure consumers know cartons are recyclable and are empowered to recycle them. So, we engage with municipalities and other organizations focused on the benefits of recycling to promote this objective."

She says the CCC, as well as colleagues from the Carton Council of North America, are also working to help build and strengthen end markets. One example of a company whose recent product innovation has led to a growing domestic U.S. end market is Re-Wall. The Iowa-based company is using whole cartons to produce durable building and construction materials. (Shown opposite page.)

"Re-Wall uses an environmentally friendly process, without water or chemicals, to create products that benefit from the strength, durability and resistance to mould and moisture of cartons," says Faucher. "And they recently expanded their facility, more than doubling capacity and increasing their demand for cartons. 

"The properties of cartons, the fact that they are resistant to humidity and resistant overall, are driving new applications, in addition to the traditional process of hydro-pulping at a mill, whereby cartons are turned into new paper-based products," she continues. 

"The humble carton is a growing part of Canada's packaging solutions. It offers safety and convenience for a wide range of fresh and shelf-stable consumer food products, and adds a high-value fibre resource to the mix of valuable materials collected in recycling programs.

"Our goal is building and growing carton recycling, and we are proud that our efforts and those of our partners and stakeholders in the value chain are having an effect." 

More from Paper Recycling

​Vilar Guillén: Evolving from a focus on local recycling to world markets

Only a few years ago the standards for recycled paper and board in China were not high. As a massive importer, China is now known to reject entire container loads based upon one inferior bale. Responding to this reality, Valorizaciones Vilar Guillén SL (V V G) set out to streamline their entire business to deliver against tight specifications, earning respect and repeat business as a result.

​Dem-Con MRF retrofit to be complete this summer with addition of MSS CIRRUS optical sorters

Between summer 2017 and 2018, Dem-Con Materials Recovery in Shakopee, Minnesota retrofitted their single-stream MRF with three new MSS CIRRUS optical sorters for fiber from CP Group. The units increase recovery, improve product quality and reduce sorter headcount on the fiber QC.  A fourth MSS CIRRUS sensor is currently in production and will install this summer.

​Canada Fibers awarded contracts to design, build and operate two technologically advanced recycling facilities

Canada Fibers Limited (CFL) has been awarded two contracts to design, build and operate advanced single-stream post-consumer Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Peel, Ontario.  The Company is constructing an 80 thousand square foot greenfield facility in Winnipeg and is retrofitting the Region of Peel's existing MRF.  Both projects involve advancements to recovery technologies in response to increasingly rigorous quality standards from industries utilizing post-consumer recyclable materials. 

Machinex and Canada Fibers partnership to result in two of the most technologically advanced single-stream facilities in North America

Toronto-based Canada Fibers Ltd. (CFL) is building two single-stream recycling facilities in 2019 that will include the most advanced, high-tech fibre and plastics sorting and recovery systems in Canada. In Winnipeg, Manitoba, a completely new 30-tonnes-per-hour facility (approximately 80,000 square feet) is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the fall. In the Region of Peel, Ontario, the existing Peel Integrated Waste Management Facility MRF, owned by the Region, will be retrofitted for 31.5-tonnes-per-hour capacity, with the updated facility (approximately 85,000 square feet) scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020. 

Both good and bad news for OCC and recovered paper exporters to start 2019

The good news for recovered paper exporters as the calendar flipped to another new year was China's issuance of almost six million short tons worth of import licenses in December. The first batch of permits issued by China's Ministry of the Environment, covering about 5.5 million tons, was more than double the amount of recovered paper allowed by China's first batch a year earlier.

Balcones Resources celebrates 25 years in business

Balcones Resources celebrated its 25th anniversary in business this month, growing from a small Austin-based paper recycler to a comprehensive environmental services company with facilities in Austin, Dallas and Little Rock. Balcones marked the milestone with a reception featuring a presentation of $25,000 in total donations to five Austin-area environmental organizations: EcoRise, Hill Country Conservancy, Keep Austin Beautiful, Shoal Creek Conservancy and Waller Creek Conservancy.

​TOMRA Sorting Recycling adds to product support team in North America

TOMRA Sorting Recycling has announced two additions to their North America product support team. Sean Hyacinth has been added as a field service engineer for TOMRA optical sorting equipment, while Kevin Javier Montalvo assumes the newly created position of customer project manager, recycling. Both team members will work directly with TOMRA dealers and customers to strengthen equipment service and project management throughout North America. 

​Wolfgang Schiller appointed CEO of ZenRobotics

ZenRobotics Ltd. has appointed Wolfgang Schiller as the company's new CEO, effective immediately. Prior to ZenRobotics, Mr. Schiller was the Vice President Electronics Industry at KUKA AG, a leading supplier of intelligent automation solutions. According to ZenRobotics, as CEO, Schiller will be responsible for further developing ZenRobotics' business and accelerating the uptake of intelligent robots in waste management. 

SamurAI sorting robot finding success in the recycling industry

In the spring of 2018, Plessisville, Quebec-based Machinex introduced its new SamurAI sorting robot, which, according to the manufacturer, has since generated a lot of industry interest. Nearly six months after its launch, the response of the market has been very positive and nine robots have been sold to date. The first two SamurAI in Canada have just been installed in Quebec while six more robots will be installed by next year in Canadian sorting centers. Moreover, the company says they continue to have regular requests from customers who are greatly interested in this cutting-edge technology.

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Greif to acquire Caraustar Industries

Greif, Inc., a global provider of industrial packaging products and services, announced December 20 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Caraustar Industries, Inc., the leading recycled paperboard and packaging solutions company, from an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, in a cash transaction valued at $1.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of calendar year 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances. 

​ISRI's 2018 Industry Yearbook confirms recycling industry resilience in year of change

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) recently announced the release of its seventh annual Recycling Industry Yearbook, providing the most up-to-date information and statistics about the U.S. recycling industry and global scrap marketplace. With a greater spotlight on the industry in the wake of rising trade protectionism around the globe, the publication provides the most comprehensive analysis of where the industry stands based on the most current data compared to previous years. It will also serves as a baseline for years to come based on the new global market realities.

REDWAVE report provides insight on the current state of the European paper recycling industry

The purpose of paper recycling is to produce high quality recycled paper, responding to the high-quality specifications required by paper consumers either from the graphic, hygiene or packaging sectors. In consequence, any collection scheme should be designed in a way to provide grades of paper for recycling adapted to the requirements of high value recycling, according to the EN 643 to the paper industry, either directly or after sorting. (EN 643 is the European List of Standard Grades of Paper and Board for Recycling.)

Mondi partnerships focused on waste diversion and plastics recycling initiatives

Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper has partnered with One Young World, the global forum for young leaders, on the Lead2030 initiative - a competition to find youth-led practical solutions to drive progress on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mondi has committed $50,000 to fund a project that will make a tangible contribution to SDG12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production'. 

​Highlights from the 19th annual Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference NA

This year's 19th edition of the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference North America, held in Chicago from October 17 through 19th and produced by the Recycling Today Media Group, was a very informative, well organized and well attended event, and a good reflection of the mixed feelings currently being expressed by the industry with respect to the state of paper and plastics recycling. On the technology side of the industry, things are largely positive. Business is good. From the latest plastics additive and stabilizing technologies designed to enhance the physical properties and thereby the quality of recycled plastics for compounders and other reprocessors, to the significant advances in sorting, screening and other equipment being put forward by leading manufacturers, it is clear that there is solid demand, and excellent solutions available to help profitably create better quality recycled materials from challenging input streams. The advances in this sector are in fact rapid and ongoing. The latest robotic and optical sorting, coupled with artificially intelligent (AI) "learning" technologies, are particularly impressive - making it difficult for anyone to deny that high-tech materials sorting has a huge role to play in the future of this industry.

​ReWall provides expanded end market for food and beverage cartons in Colorado

The ReWall Company, which turns recycled food and beverage cartons into environmentally friendly building materials, is set to open a new facility in Colorado that will expand end markets for recycled cartons in the western United States. ReWall makes high-performance, sustainable building and construction materials out of recycled food and beverage cartons through a proprietary process that uses no chemicals or water. It takes about 400 cartons to produce one sheet of ReWall's hail-resistant roof cover board.

Meeting new challenges at the MRF

This past summer, Van Dyk Recycling Solutions sponsored and hosted a webinar titled "MRFs in Crisis! Where do we go from here?" During the webinar, Van Dyk's sales manager and process Engineer, Adam Lovewell, along with colleague Mark Neitzey, focused on the topic of how recycling businesses have been struggling to deal with China's changes in import policy. According to Lovewell and Neitzey, the so-called "China crisis" has exposed serious issues throughout the recycling industry and "we have hit a critical point where owners and operators need to take a hard look at their equipment's ability to handle changes in the stream."

MRF Operations Forum 2018

Recycling Today Media Group's 2018 Paper & Recycling Conference North America, the 19th edition, opened officially Wednesday, October 17 in Chicago, following the third annual day-long MRF Operations Forum dedicated to best practices at material recovery facilities. Jim Keefe, RT's Publisher opened the 2018 MRF Operations Forum Tuesday morning by welcoming approximately 100 attendees and introducing the first session: "Dynamic MRF Operations". The title is an appropriate one -- reflecting the overall theme for the day: with changing incoming recycling streams combined with changing global end markets, MRF operations need to be dynamic - adapting to changes and changing the way they operate - to maintain profitability. 

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Axxess controls from EPAX designed to improve the safe use of waste compactors and balers

Epax Systems, a specialist in waste management with more than 30 years of experience, recently developed a new method to control industrial compactors and balers called Axxess controls.  According to the company, over the last decade, safety and security have become concerns for multi-use property managers who are seeking to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration's requirements for controlling balers and compactors in their facilities. Since 2017, clients of Epax Systems, inc.  have increasingly communicated the need to improve on their traditional key switch systems, which requires employees to use an on/off key switch to control their compactor or cardboard baler.

CP Anti-Wrap Screen introduced

CP Group has introduced the CP Anti-Wrap Screen, the California-based recycling equipment manufacturer's second new screen of 2018. The new CP Anti-Wrap Screen accurately separates newsprint and large fiber from material streams by using high-amplitude elliptical discs to agitate material.  

TOMRA Sorting Recycling's new E-book addresses need to improve deinking recycling rates

TOMRA Sorting Recycling has published a new e-book providing advice for businesses who sort paper and cardboard for deinking and recycling. The new online publication addresses the intensifying commercial and regulatory pressures for higher recovery rates of deinked pulp and the fact that meeting these demands will require new technical solutions. The e-book introduces an exceptionally effective new solution.

NRT adds Max-AI technology to optical sorters

National Recovery Technologies (NRT) has integrated the company's NRT SpydIR® optical sorter with Max-AI® technology, creating a revolutionary new sorter with detection abilities unmatched in today's optical sorter market, according to the company. NRT's SpydIR technology uses near infrared light (NIR) detection to identify plastics, paper, wood and other materials by material type. Max-AI technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify materials using a camera and neural network algorithm (NN). The NRT SpydIR with Max-AI optical sorter employs both detection technologies to create an optical sorter that is able to combine the information from each technology to deliver a unique sorting capability.  

Binder+Co introduces unique sorting for light packaging; first machine operating in U.S.

According to Austria-based Binder+Co, due to China's recently imposed scrap import restrictions, concerns are growing in Europe and in North America about how to cope with plastic waste. The industry is sceptical about reuse, because the required quality of secondary raw material is, for the most part, not ensured, and the use of plastic waste as alternate fuel in incinerators makes too little use of plastic as a valuable secondary raw material.

Canada Fibers files breach of contract claim against City of Hamilton

Canada Fibers Ltd. (CFL) has announced that it has filed a statement of claim with the Superior Court of Ontario asserting damages arising from breach of contract by the City of Hamilton. CFL's decision to file the claim follows over 12 months of negotiations with Hamilton staff that culminated in a recommendation by the City's staff proposing measures to resolve the breach and end the dispute. Unfortunately, Hamilton City Council has rejected the compromise recommended by staff and made it necessary for CFL to seek a remedy in the courts. 

Norway's largest waste management company first to implement BHS Max-AI VIS to monitor outbound product quality

Norsk Gjenvinning (NG), Norways largest waste management company, has selected Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) to supply NG's new state of the art paper recycling system in Oslo. Operational in Q1 2019, the system will process 20 tonnes per hour (tph) and run three shifts to process approximately 120,000 tonnes annually. Noteworthy to this process is the inclusion of Max-AI VIS (Visual Identification System) units to monitor the quality of outbound paper.  

International Baler introduces first “European Style” Auto-Tie made in the USA

International Baler Corp. (IBC) has begun production of their new ATX Auto-Tie baler series, a high-volume, "European style" baler for MRF and MSW applications. IBC is the first manufacturer to offer this class of machine in the USA. Built entirely in their plant in Jacksonville, Florida, IBC offers US customers a domestic alternative to the high cost and extended lead time of overseas shipping, parts, and service.

ISRI releases statement on China’s announcement of tariffs on all scrap imports

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), has released the following statement in response to China's announcement that it will impose a retaliatory tariff on the import of all scrap commodities from the U.S.: "ISRI is already hearing from contacts in China that the announcement has caused consternation among Chinese consumers of U.S. scrap commodities. Although these tariffs will not be levied on imports from other countries, it is our understanding that other regions may not be able to fulfill all of China's demand. This is in line with other reports that the trade war has had an impact on the Chinese economy across many sectors. 

free-paper-airplane

Get our newsletter

Learn more

​Paperboard to replace plastic for Swedish card manufacturer and others, including products from IKEA and Apple

According to a press release from Iggesund Paperboard, part of the Swedish forest industry group Holmen,  a number of global companies have replaced, or are doing trials to replace, the material in their gift cards - from plastic to paperboard. Sweden's largest cinema chain, SF Bio, has taken the plunge and is now replacing all its cards.

Swedish waste management company, ​Lundstams, invests in robotic sorting to increase resource recovery

 The Swedish waste management company Lundstams Återvinning AB and Mared AB have agreed on the delivery of ZenRobotics waste sorting robots to one of their facilities in Northern Sweden. The new sorting line will allow Lundstams to process waste more efficiently and closer to the source. The robotic sorting line is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2019.

​Machinex provides new single-stream MRF to York County, South Carolina

Machinex was recently awarded the bid to provide a new single-stream material recovery system (MRF) for York County, South Carolina. The facility is planned to begin operations this July. This new system will allow the County to process the growing tonnage of residential recycling materials being generated in the surrounding area. Material is coming from 16 collection and recycling centres located throughout the County and this new facility will processes all collected recyclables.

​Recycling industry focuses on improved quality with latest changes to Paper Specifications

The paper recycling industry has been working diligently over the last several years to improve the quality of the recycling stream. Through a collaborative effort, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries' (ISRI) Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter and ISRI's Paper Division - whose members include recyclers, paper mills, MRF operators and other industry stakeholders -- are working to improve the quality of recycled material through a reduction in contamination. This effort recently included an update to the "Guidelines for Paper Stock" in ISRI's Scrap Specifications Circular that among other changes, clearly lists items that are considered "Prohibitive Materials" and should not be included in the recycling stream. In addition, for the first time, "Zero Tolerance" is also defined.

free-magazine-subscription

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more