A new study from Corrugated Packaging Alliance shows the corrugated industry continues to dramatically decrease its use of wax coatings. In 2013, the industry used 39 percent less wax than in 2002, when wax usage was first measured. The reduction brings the total waxed corrugated volume to just below 3 percent of total corrugated volume produced in 2013 compared to 5 percent of total volume in 2002.
Commercialized alternative coatings have aided the decline of wax.
The dramatic decrease is attributed to the development of recyclable alternatives. By developing and using wax alternatives, the industry continues to increase the amount of recyclable corrugated packaging. Coupled with the tremendous supermarket and retail collection of old corrugated containers (OCC), today there's very little corrugated packaging going to landfills.
In 2013, the corrugated industry shipped 9.9 billion square feet of boxes using recyclable wax alternative coatings. That's over 653 percent more than the 1.3 billion square feet shipped when first measured in 2002.
Progress has been made in replacing all types of wax treated boxes (cascaded, impregnated, and curtain-coated) with recyclable treated boxes.