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Global Recycling Day: The (almost) nine lives of paper and cardboard

Global Recycling Day emphasised the importance of recycling and highlights the role of paper and cardboard in the recycling ecosystem, Deb Kerr, CEO of the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) said today.


Victorians produce more and more waste each year. According to Recycling Victoria, 2.37 million tonnes of waste was collected from households (of which around half is paper and cardboard), increasing by 8.1 per cent from 2018–19. However, there are some encouraging trends. Since 2001–02, recyclable collections have increased by 59 per cent or 213 kilotonnes.

In Victoria, councils collected 1.7m tonnes of paper and cardboard in 2019-20. 67% was recycled and the remainder went to landfill. That is most likely due to contamination (think of that greasy pizza box that gets thrown in the recycling bin). Paper was mostly recovered from households while cardboard was primarily recovered from commercial and industrial businesses.

“Paper and cardboard are among the most recyclable materials on earth. They are given a new lease of life and turned into new paper and cardboard products, copy paper, boxes, gift cards, tissue, paper towels and more. Wood and fibre processors can recycle paper and cardboard up to eight times. However, new research suggests these materials can be recycled up to 25 times. Recycling is good for our planet, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and diverts waste from landfills.

“When the paper has reached the end of its useful life, it can go in the compost, returning its nutrients to the soil – and even in landfill, these products will continue to store carbon. It is the ultimate in circularity, renewability, and sustainability. We still have a way to go in Victoria. But Global Recycling Day is a time to celebrate the excellent work of our local paper, tissue and cardboard manufacturers. They create jobs and products from a renewable resource, and lead the way on recycling,” Ms Kerr concluded.

About Global Recycling Day:

Global Recycling Day is celebrated annually on 18 March to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and the need to reduce waste. The day encourages people to take action to reduce waste and promote recycling in their communities.




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