Interesting things about the packaging industry, retailing dynamics, consumer trends and NOA’s insight.

Mixed waste, OCC and how we manage waste disposal differently across the globe

Nov 8, 2017 | Carton Packaging, Corrugated Packaging, Packaging Research and Analysis, Paper Mills

On a recent visit to North America, we noticed a few differences in how “Recycling”, “Food waste disposal” and “Landfill” are being addressed. At NOA we are passionate about Paper Packaging, and especially the thorny subject of “waste disposal” and “mixed waste”. What did we notice?

Having had over 3 decades of discussions with customers and stakeholders on how paper packaging (such as corrugated cases, folding cartons and paper bags) can be so effectively recycled, composted and reused, we have been thinking a lot recently about the practical side of things; how in reality is waste being effectively handled down the right channels at the consumer end of things?

The key issue for us is the handling of “mixed waste”. As our audience will note, many recycling opportunities are missed when you get to the point of the consumer (it is well known that theoretical recycling figures are good for many packaging products, but when you look at the actual recycling figure, they reduce by half due to this consumer stage of the chain e.g. paper coffee cups).

Our non-scientific survey has shown some interesting examples of how waste disposal is being done quite differently across the globe. We can also see how recycling is being drawn to the attention of the consumer in different ways too. Here are two examples:

Which one of these approaches is likely to be the more effective? Could one or both of these methods help improve collection rates of paper products, better dispose of food waste and reduce landfill ? If you have a view on this we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us via our weblink and tell us what you think.