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Thinking Inside the Box: A Circular Approach to Extending the Lifecycle of Fiber-based Packaging

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April, 2024

While reports and surveys indicate that consumers broadly care about protecting the environment, knowledge about the most sustainable forms of packaging is limited. The story of International Paper (IP) began more than 125 years ago, with a focus on manufacturing a highly adaptable fiber-based product that changed the world through the proliferation of newspapers. Since the company’s origin, the world has undergone dramatic change. Containerboard mills convert trees to pulp and paper, and thus from an ordinary source, an extraordinary renewable resource is transformed into useful products. This report will outline the challenges associated with transitioning from a single-use economic model to one that prioritizes sustainable, circular use of resources in packaging, as well as comparing the relative advantages of a recycled/virgin fiber mix versus 100% recycled corrugated.

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