Cardboard in the news

Our latest installment of news snippets about the world’s most versatile and affordable packaging material….

Stiff Chinese tariff hikes hit OCC

Just weeks after corrugated packaging and recycling industry groups mulled recommendations for increasing residential recovery of old corrugated containers (OCC), China in early August announced it will impose a 25 percent tariff on OCC and other recovered fiber in retaliation of the latest U.S. tariffs. The tariffs were set to go into effect August 23. According to, the U.S. exported nearly $6 billion worth of scrap commodities to China last year. But exports already were headed south to the tune of a 24% drop since 2017, the website reported.

Plastics getting a black eye again

Scores of businesses on the West Coast have recently announced plans to stop providing customers with and otherwise stop selling plastic straws. Seattle and San Francisco, in particular, along with high-profile restaurants like Starbucks, Aramark and American Airlines have led the campaign. But many experts say straws are merely a drop in the ocean of bigger waste issues beginning to catch the attention of environmentalists, according to Fewer than 9% of all plastics are even recycled, forcing society’s collective eye toward this otherwise pretty durable packaging material. Companies are now looking even more at eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. Demand for corrugated cardboard packaging here and in Europe is expected to increase more than 4% in the coming year, according to industry reports.


Even with mixed news like this, it’s an indisputable fact that brown corrugated cardboard is looking greener every day. It wasn’t that long ago that a Corrugated Packaging Alliance report highlighted the continued positive news about corrugated’s sustainability. Among the CPA’s corrugated industry life cycle assessment study findings: Significant per unit reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, due in large part to increased OCC recycling efforts.

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