US Recovered Paper Volumes Will Benefit From Growth in US, Chinese Paperboard Production

19 March 2020

CLEVELAND, March 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- US recovery of paper products from the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream is forecast to grow 1.1% annually in volume terms through 2023, according to Recovered Paper: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. These gains in paper recovery volumes will be supported by:

  • Growth in US production of paper and paperboard, which will increase demand for wastepaper as a raw material in the manufacturing process due to cost advantages over virgin materials
  • The expected increase in paperboard manufacturing in China, contributing to vigorous demand for recovered corrugated boxes as an export product
  • US exports of post-consumer paper, particularly to countries that possess a vigorous paper industry but lack resources to meet demand for virgin fiber, such as India

However, many countries that recently figured as major importers of US recyclables – such as China, Indonesia, and Malaysia – have tightened their quality standards, leaving US exporters with a major backlog in recovered material inventories that exceed acceptable contamination rates, weighing on prices and profitability. Ongoing efforts to reduce the volume of paper generated in the MSW stream, such as source reduction efforts by manufacturers and continued use of digital media, will also restrict faster gains in recovery volumes. Slower expansion in the reach of recycling programs in the US over the forecast period compared to the historical decade will also temper growth.

These and other key insights are featured in Recovered Paper: United States. This report forecasts to 2023 the recovery of post-consumer paper from the US MSW stream in short tons. For comparison, this report also forecasts the generation of post-consumer paper in the MSW stream to 2023. Total paper recovery and generation are segmented by source in terms of:

  • packaging
  • mixed paper products
  • newspapers and mechanical papers
  • other paper products, such as tissue paper and towels, paper plates and cups, and other non-packaging paper (generation only)

To illustrate historical trends, total paper volumes generated and recovered along with their segments are provided in annual series from 2008 to 2018.

The annual volume of material recovered from other paper products is negligible, and is therefore excluded from total recovered paper. Pre-consumer paper and paper combusted for energy are also excluded from this report. Throughout this report, measures in tons refer to short tons.

More information about the report is available at: 

About Freedonia Focus Reports

Each month, The Freedonia Group – a division of – publishes over 20 new or updated Freedonia Focus Reports, providing fresh, unbiased analysis on a wide variety of markets and industries. Published in 20-30 pages, Focus Report coverage ranges from raw materials to finished manufactured goods and related services such as freight and construction. Additional Materials & Chemicals reports can be purchased at Freedonia Focus Reports or

Analysis is intended to guide the busy reader through pertinent topics in rapid succession, including:

  • total historical market size and industry output
  • segmentation by products and markets
  • identification of market drivers, constraints, and key indicators
  • segment-by-segment outlook in five-year forecasts
  • a survey of the supply base
  • suggested resources for further study

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SOURCE The Freedonia Group