New data generated from the Fibre Box Association (FBA) shows that more corrugated boxes are shipped with recyclable alternative coatings than those shipping using traditional wax coatings. This is a first since the corrugated industry’s recyclable protocol came about in 2005.

In 2014, the corrugated industry shipped 10.6 billion square feet of boxes using recyclable wax alternative coatings--a 708 percent increase over the 1.3 billion square feet shipped 13 years ago. Only 9.8 billion square feet of waxed boxes were shipped last year.

“Corrugated is the most reliable, cost-effective and sustainable package available for transporting most products, including those requiring moisture protection such as fresh produce,” says Dennis Colley, executive director of the Corrugated Packaging Alliance. “Even those boxes can be made with recyclable materials. The continuous decrease in wax coatings means that renewable, recyclable corrugated can be used for even the most demanding applications.”

Wax coatings on boxes help to prevent moisture damage, particularly when shipping foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. Now, wax alternatives--47 of them--have passed certification testing for repulpability and recyclability and have been registered with the FBA as of this month. FBA membership accounts for more than 95 percent of all corrugated packaging produced in the U.S.