Paper Packaging: One of Canada’s Original Circular Economies
PPEC is proud that paper packaging is one of Canada’s original circular economies, and our below infographic illustrates how paper packaging is made, and continuously remade into new paper-based packaging, through recycling.
While most paper packaging made in Canada is made with recycled content, the paper fibres it was originally made from came from a tree. However, less than half of one per cent of Canadian commercial forests are harvested for paper packaging, and every hectare that is harvested must be successfully regenerated, with more than 1,000 seedlings planted in Canada every minute. Sustainable forest management is critical to the circular economy of Canada’s paper packaging industry.
A mill produces the raw material used to make packaging, using mostly recycled content, and responsibly sourced wood chips and sawmill residues. It is then formed into big rolls of paper and sent to a converter, where it is made into packaging products. Once used by the customer, it is recycled, making its way back to the mill to start the process over again, as it is remade into new paper packaging products.
And while research show that paper can be recycled up to seven times, and corrugated box fibres up to ten times, a recent study from Graz University of Technology in Austria found that fibre-based packaging material can be recycled at least 25 times without losing mechanical or structural integrity.