The use of waxed corrugated boxes, which aren’t recyclable, has steadily dropped in the last decade and now represents just 2.5% of all corrugated boxes shipped.
The waxed boxes, used primarily to ship wet or iced perishables, including fresh fruits and vegetables, are being replaced by boxes using wax alternatives, according to the Itasca, Ill.-based Corrugated Packing Alliance.
Fewer waxed boxes means a higher rate of recycling, and the recovery rate reached 93% recycled in 2016, according to a news release from the alliance. Fifty-one wax alternatives have been certified for repulpability/recyclability.
“The continuous decrease in wax coatings means that renewable, recyclable corrugated can be used for even the most demanding applications,” Dennis Colley, executive director of the Corrugated Packaging Alliance, said in the release.