Americans are recycling a whopping 63.5% of all consumed paper, up nearly 7% from 2008.
According to American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), a Washington-based group, Americans are recycling more because they are concerned about the environment and simply want to be “greener.”
AF&PA also cites an increase in education about the need for recycling, and improved availability and ease of recycling methods as contributing factors as well.
While the effects of paper-recycling education efforts by organizations such as AF&PA and Keep America Beautiful have significantly increased awareness about the importance of recycling, the fact that in 2010, 87% of American households had access to either curbside recycling or community drop-off recycling locations has also worked well to increase recycling rates.
But neither education nor availability would matter much if Americans didn’t really care about recycling. The improvement in U.S. paper recycling rates is proof that Americans care very much about our planet, and are willing to do their part to decrease waste.
The AF&PA is working toward an overall U.S. paper recycling rate of 70% by 2020. Since Americans can usually accomplish almost anything they set out to do, I’m betting we’ll make it. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if we beat it.