Board Converting News, October 11, 2021

Forest Management Is Essential To Canadian Packaging Industry BY RACHEL KAGAN Sustainable forest management is a fundamental pillar for PPEC and its members and is essential to the Canadian

that is harvested must be successfully regenerated. Ac- cording to Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) most re- cent State of Canada’s Forestsannual report, at least 427 million seedlings were planted across Canada in 2018 – that’s 48,744 seedlings planted every hour. In addition, all PPEC-member mills have independent, third-party certification that verifies that their paper fibre sources – which include recycled fibres, wood chips, and sawmill residues – are responsibly sourced. Each mill member has independent chain-of-custody certification for their operations in Canada by one of the three feder- ally-recognised forest certification systems: the Canadi- an Standards Association (CSA), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI); the CSA and SFI systems are endorsed by the internation- al umbrella organization called the Programme for the En- dorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC). These third-party forest management certification or-

paper-based packaging industry. And what better time to talk about that then during National Forest Week, which took place last week. While most paper packaging made in Canada is made with re- cycled content, the paper fibres it was originally made from came from a tree. However, less than

Rachel Kagan

half of one percent of Canadian commercial forests are harvested for paper-based packaging, and every hectare

ganizations assess forestry operations against standards for sustainable forest management, which includes ensuring the conservation of biodiversity ecological processes, and differ- ent species of plants and animals), and com- plements Canada’s rigorous forest manage- ment laws and regulations. When you add it up, the Canadian pa- per-based packaging industry hardly uses any freshly cut trees to make paper packaging, and the little that is harvested, 0.2 percent in 2018 according to NRCan, is regenerated. So how are paper-based packaging prod- ucts made in Canada? Primarily from recycled content! According to PPEC’s most recent Re- cycled Content Survey, the average recycled content of the three major paper packaging grades made by Canadian mills – container- board (used to make corrugated boxes), box- board (used to make boxboard cartons), and kraft paper (used to make paper bags) – is collectively 81.7 percent. The remaining 18 per- cent is made up of wood chips, shavings, or sawmill residue left over from lumber opera- tions, and trees. Recycled content is a critical component to the paper-based packaging industry’s circular economy. As Canadians actively recycle their paper-based packaging, that content makes its way back to the mill, and is remade into new paper packaging products again and again. And yet while we know that the pa- per-based packaging made by PPEC members is made primarily from recycled paper fibres, there is some confusion about our industry and deforestation (when forest land is perma- nently cleared to make way for a new, non-for- est land use). The most recent data available



October 11, 2021

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