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New Program Encourages Consumers to Be Part of the Solution

By AICC Staff

July 7, 2022

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With e-commerce deliveries on the rise, residential recycling is more important than ever. That’s why manufacturers and brands across the paper and packaging industry are coming together with a box-focused residential recycling program: Box to Nature. This program is led by the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB), a national consumer marketing program overseen by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to build preference for the paper and paper-packaging industry.

“We can change consumer recycling behavior with the right program,” says Mary Anne Hansan, president of P+PB, “and we think now is the right time.”

width=300With $906.1 billion spent on e-commerce by Americans in 2021, more boxes than ever are arriving on residential doorsteps, and consumers are beginning to experience increased guilt. However, research shows that they feel better when they can do their part. While a majority of consumers say they recycle, 2 in 3 consumers still admit they don’t always do so.* As a result, only an estimated 40% of consumer recyclable material is recovered through residential recycling, according to The Recycling Partnership.

The Box to Nature graphic educates and prompts consumer action at the point of packaging in three easy steps—empty, flatten, and recycle. While the mark can be printed on boxes of all sizes, to have the greatest impact, the consumer-tested mark should be placed in a prominent location. Sixty-three percent of consumers reported they would recycle more if paper-based packaging had recycling instructions printed on it.

By scanning the QR code that sits next to the mark, consumers are met with an engaging quiz and educational microsite that connects them to the paper industry’s national consumer marketing campaign. Seventy-five percent of consumers tested agree that they would be more likely to recycle after seeing the message, demonstrating that the Box to Nature mark can effect real behavior change.

Box to Nature gives consumers and businesses alike a chance to be a part of the environmental solution. Together, we have the opportunity to give the fibers in our boxes up to seven lives. Box to Nature is a free program, open to P+PB member companies and all boxmakers large and small—even digital ordering systems—that want to help the whole industry get more boxes back and give consumers peace of mind that they are doing the right thing.

If you would like to participate in the program, contact P+PB at box2nature@paperandpackaging.org, or learn more at paperandpackaging.org.


“We are excited to participate in the Box to Nature program, reminding consumers at ‘point of package’ to empty, flatten, and recycle! This is an important industry initiative that will help improve residential recycling rates!”

—Bryan Hollenbach, executive vice president, Green Bay Packaging