US Paper Recovery Rate

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has announced that a record 67.2 per cent of paper consumed in the US was recovered for recycling in 2016. US paper recovery rate statistics are available at

“The voluntary, market-driven recovery system, the millions of Americans who recycle every day, and industry efforts to inform consumers about the importance of paper recycling continue to enable a high U.S. paper recovery rate,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. 

“Paper recovery for recycling helps extend the useful life of paper and paper-based packaging products, making it an integral part of our industry’s sustainability story,” said AF&PA Board Chair and Clearwater Paper Corporation President and CEO Linda Massman.

The annual paper recovery rate has doubled since 1990 and US paper recovery has met or exceeded 63 per cent for the past eight years. The industry has a goal to exceed 70 per cent paper recovery for recycling by 2020 as part of its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative. 

For more information about paper recycling, including statistics and other resources, visit

Join our Newsletter

Sign up to our weekly newsletters for updates on articles, interviews and events

Sign up