Global packaging giant DS Smith opens its first US recycling plant

USA – DS Smith has opened its first recycling facility in the United States located in Reading, Pennsylvania aimed at driving a circular economy designed to eliminate waste and encourage sustainability.

According to the company, the new 43,000-square-foot plant utilizes the innovation and processes that have enabled DS Smith to globally manage more than 5.5 million tons of material for recycling annually.

In addition to material from DS Smith’s Reading corrugated packaging plant, the local team will work with others in the region to recover paper for recycling from local distribution centers, packaging facilities, retailers and print shops.

DS Smith said that the facility, which is the latest expansion of its business operations in North America, creates a closed loop manufacturing model that enhances its customers’ sustainable packaging credentials.

“This new plant can recycle over 36,000 tons of old corrugated cardboard each year, creating new fully recyclable packaging for our customers in this region,” said Toby Earnest, head of recycling for DS Smith in North America.

“Our goal is to achieve zero cardboard and paper going to landfill after packaging is used.”

“We have quite a bit of work to do in the U.S. before this can become a reality, but the opening of our recycling facility is an important first step in developing an infrastructure that can support a circular system in the U.S.”

The recycling plant has the capability to segregate other materials, such as plastic, glass and metal, compressing the remaining recyclable cardboard and paper into large bundled bales, as heavy as a ton each.

DS Smith explains that the process allows for corrugated packaging to be made, used, collected and recycled into corrugated boxes again within just 14 days while at the dame time reducing the amount of fiber in its boxes by up to 30%.

The company added that the facility is well positioned to service the paper mill and sell recycled packaging products to its partners and others.

“We are very excited about the growth opportunity in the United States and increasing our investment in the Reading community,” said Mark Ushpol, managing director of packaging for DS Smith in North America.

“Our customers are demanding new packaging solutions that are fully recyclable and recycled in practice, driving a more circular business model.”

The Reading recycling plant is the latest development in DS Smith’s growth program in North America.

The opening follows the January launch of a state-of-the-art, automated corrugated packaging plant in Lebanon, Indiana. The company now operates a manufacturing network of over 250 European facilities and was the first packaging manufacturer to achieve a net positive recycling position.

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