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U.S. Paper Recycling Reaches Record High

Americans are recycling a whopping 63.5% of all consumed paper, up nearly 7% from 2008.

Great news on the recycling front for the U.S.––paper recycling has reached an all-time high, up from 57.4% in 2008 to 63.5% in 2010.

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.

About Sebrina Zerkus Smith

Professional writer, foodie. Lupus survivor. Loves pugs, wine, days at the beach and good movies. Takes recycling seriously, but not much else. Sebrina Zerkus Smith is a Southern Gal that has been scratching the writer’s itch for nearly 30 years. Her career began in Washington, D.C., in 1987, fresh out of collage and full of ideals. While plying her trade by day on congressional reps and senators, at night she burned the candle writing features for local newspapers and national magazines. She quickly realized that her southern upbringing gave her a unique and humorous voice that resonated with her readers. Eventually, she moved to Los Angeles where she pursued her dream of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. She paid her bills by working as a freelance writer for major marketing projects from studios such as CBS, NBC and Disney. Realizing that the future of writing lay with the internet, she was bitten by the blogging bug back in the 90’s, back before it was even called “blogging.” Then it was still just writing and trying to make a living. Through those early blogging years, Sebrina found passion and purpose. Over the past 10 years she has written articles for clients such as LightCues.com, MatterMore.com, Greenopolis, MacAddict, Yahoo, CNN and more. Today, Sebrina writes about a variety of topics including the Southern Experience, sustainability, clean water, food, gardening, sleep and her obsession with pugs. She is a regular paid contributor to WildOats.com as well as other entities. She now lives in Houston with her husband Jeff and their pug Newton. She hopes one day to complete her opus, Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.

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