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

0142/35369_en_d8fac_37950_carton-council-sign-20171004-143210.jpg

Company info

20 De Boers Drive, Suite 420
Toronto, ON
CA, M3J 0H1

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

On the trail of Canada’s first robotic sorters

The first robotic sorting systems in Canada were installed in the Fall of 2018 by Machinex, at the Sani-Éco MRF in Granby, Quebec, and soon after, at the Chatham-Kent Recycling MRF in Merlin, Ontario. At both facilities Machinex installed a double robotic sorting system, using two SamurAI robotic sorting units placed in succession on a single line. This summer, Machinex installed three more robotic sorting units at a MRF in Toronto and one machine at a MRF in Winnipeg.

Surviving the changing mixed paper market

In the last several years, North American recycling operations have seen overseas markets for fibre products that have historically been reliable become much more difficult to access. Rising global purity standards are either virtually unobtainable using traditional sorting and separation methods, or they are too costly to meet using options such as adding additional manual sorters.

China’s latest tariff announcement affects scrap commodities

In apparent retaliation to the U.S. Administration's recent announcement of tariffs on Chinese products to begin in September and December, the Chinese government announced last week its intent to levy additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of goods from the United States. These tariffs add on to those already in place from announcements in 2018.

Renewable energy project aims to raise Santa Barbara diversion rate above 85%

Santa Barbara County, California has buried about 200,000 tons of annual trash in its Tajiguas Landfill since 1967. The landfill was on track to hit its capacity in about six years from now, until the announcement of a renewable energy project that is expected to extend its life by an additional decade. 

Bace granted disruptive patent for IntelliBACE baler and compactor monitoring technology

This past spring, BACE, LLC announced the launch of the first-ever, fully-integrated Ecosystem for balers and compactors, powered by the IntelliBACE Platform. This August, BACE announced issuance by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) of US Patent No.: US 10,377,518, which protects the IntelliBACE Platform.

New Poll: Despite uncertainty over recycling, consumers aren't backing down

While headlines over the past few years might lead some to believe otherwise, the reality is that Americans say they are still recycling at the same rate, despite having little confidence that their recyclables actually get recycled. A national poll conducted by Mason-Dixon on behalf of the U.S. based Carton Council showed that 85% of respondents report they recycle.

An eye on optical sorting

In June, RPN had the opportunity to visit Canada's only turnkey MRF technology provider, Machinex, at the company's headquarters in Plessisville, Quebec. The company is very busy, with multiple MRF design/installation and retrofit projects across Canada currently and through 2020 - which will mark Machinex' 50th anniversary in manufacturing.

merQbiz introduces BaleVision - a solution for optimizing paper recovery

merQbiz, a solutions and analytics provider for buyers and sellers in the recovered paper (RCP) industry, introduces BaleVision, providing companies actionable insights into their RCP quality. Combining a leading quality assessment tool with comprehensive data, BaleVision helps RCP buyers maximize supplier performance and sellers earn a fair price for their product.

​Republic Services' new Texas MRF putting community education at the forefront

Republic Services is tackling head-on the crisis of overly contaminated waste streams in today's MRFs. With current residential contamination levels reaching as high as 30% or more, it is critical that processors send a clear message to the community about what is accepted in the recycling program, while also employing the most advanced, flexible technology on the market to separate this evolving stream.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

2019 China Recovered Paper Market & Policy Advisory Report available

A new report from NPC Partners is now available in the U.S. and Europe through Atlanta-based paper recycling consulting firm Moore & Associates. NPC Partners is a global consultancy based in Hong Kong with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Atlanta. NPC Partners is committed to assisting the pulp and paper industry innovate and grow based on winning strategies and new market insights.

Editor in the field: From the factory floor to the MRF – in Quebec

June 12-13, Machinex and the Carton Council of Canada invited Recycling Product News to Quebec. The first stop was a tour of the Machinex manufacturing facility and HQ in Plessisville, about 2 hours East of Montreal. Secondly, the Carton Council of Canada and Machinex hosted customers and press for a tour of Sani-Éco's MRF in Granby, Quebec where Machinex recently installed the company's latest Mach Hyspec optical sorting technology, along with a pair of SamurAI robotic sorting units for handling both cartons and PET/HDPE plastic. 

Indonesia to use ISRI Specs to ease restrictions on recovered paper imports

Last month, in an effort to crack down on illegal shipments, the Indonesian government imposed new regulations on imports of recovered paper. The rules included a 0.5% contamination limit and 100% pre-shipment inspections, including separating containers into bales. The government has now announced that it will instead use the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) specifications for recovered paper which set a standard of 1-2% for prohibitives and 3-4% for outhrows. It is also using the specifications to define its use of the word "homogenous" in describing the condition of bales.

Area Recycling MRF upgrade complete

After a two-month construction and installation period, Area Recycling launched its new state of the art material recovery system this week. The facility expansion and equipment upgrade represents a $3.5 million dollar business investment for PDC, Area Recycling's parent company, based out of Illinois.

New report sheds light on Chinese recovered paper markets

Moore & Associates, a paper recycling consulting firm based in Atlanta, recently announced the availability of the 2019 China Recovered Paper Market & Policy Advisory Report.  From Hong Kong-based NPC Partners (a premier and innovative consultancy firm for the pulp & paper industry), the new report presents a view from inside China, including insights and analysis on China's new recovered paper policies, markets and global impacts.

City of Lethbridge opens new MRF featuring Machinex sorting system

The City of Lethbridge, Alberta held the grand opening of their new single-stream material recovery facility on May 8. According to Machinex, their sorting system at the facility, commissioned in mid-April, will allow the City to process residential recycling materials generated by a new blue cart program that is currently being set up.

Sani-É​co partners with Machinex on major MRF upgrade

Machinex attended the official ceremony this week marking the major upgrade of the Sani-Éco material recovery facility located in Granby, Province of Quebec, Canada. The owners of the recycling management company reiterated their trust in Machinex, which provided them their sorting center more than 18 years ago. This modernization will allow an increase of their current sorting capacity in addition to bringing a direct improvement to the quality of the fibers produced.

​BHS launches Max-AI AQC-C sorting system

Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) has launched the Max-AI AQC-C, a solution that is comprised of Max-AI VIS (for Visual Identification System) and at least one collaborative robot (CoBot). CoBots are designed to work safely alongside people which allows the AQC-C to be quickly and easily placed into existing Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). BHS launched the original Max-AI AQC (Autonomous Quality Control) at WasteExpo in 2017. At this year's show, our next generation AQC will be on display along with the AQC-C.  

RePower South starts up advanced recycling system using BHS technology

RePower South (RPS) has begun processing material at the company's new recycling and recovery facility in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The recycling system, provided by Eugene, Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), is one of the most advanced in the world. The highly automated system is capable of processing more than 50-tons-per-hour (tph) of mixed waste to recover recyclables and produce a fuel feedstock. 

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

​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. 

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

​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.

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.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more