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Sonoco expands recycling of paper containers in U.S.

June 17, 2021  By P&PC Staff

Sonoco will use scrap materials from the production of its EnviroCan paper containers in the U.S. as raw material at three of its uncoated recycled paperboard mills.

Sonoco expects to divert from landfills approximately 3,300 tons of scrap materials annually from four of its U.S. paper container operations in West Chicago, Ill., Greenville, Wisc., Jackson, Tenn., and Norwalk, Calif., says Elizabeth Rhue, Sonoco’s staff vice-president of sustainability.

This material, which is projected to equal approximately 165 truckloads, will be sent to Sonoco paper mills in Menasha, Wisc., Newport, Tenn., and City of Industry, Calif., where it will be used as raw material to produce 100 per cent recycled paperboard, with up to 85 per cent post-consumer fibre.


“We are taking the lead to further demonstrate our ability to recycle our paper containers with metal ends not only through the steel stream, as they are largely done today, but also through the paper stream,” says Rhue. “And, we look forward to growing consumer access to increase recycling of our paper cans through post-consumer recycling streams.”

According to Tim Davis, division vice-president and general manager of Sonoco’s U.S./Canada paper operations, this collaboration across Sonoco’s U.S. vertically integrated manufacturing network further demonstrates how the company can recycle and process fibre-based packaging through conventional paper mill pulping systems.

Sonoco currently is working with the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) to recycle its paper containers in the U.K. at its Stainland, paper mill, in West Yorkshire, U.K., to produce 100 per cent recycled coreboard.

Sonoco has committed to increasing the volume of packaging by weight recycled or caused to be recycled through Sonoco’s recycling facilities and paper mills by 2025.

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