Paper Cups, Food and Beverage Cartons Now Recyclable in More Than 70% of Michigan Households

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FALLS CHURCH, Va., Nov. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — More than 2.75 million Michigan households can now recycle their food and beverage cartons and paper cups thanks to a partnership with the Carton Council of North America, the Foodservice Packaging Institute and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). Through this collaborative effort with local recycling facilities that process recyclables to most communities in the region, these paper products are now welcome in recycling containers in the Metro Detroit area and more than 70 cities in the region.

The recycled paper cups and food and beverage cartons will go on to make new paper products consumers use every day, such as paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, and office and writing paper. These products will primarily be made in the Great Lakes region.

Two major recycling facilities in the region — Resource Recovery Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County and Green For Life Environmental Recycling and Resource Recovery — will sort paper cups and food and beverage cartons from area communities, including the City of Detroit. These facilities join other recycling facilities in the state that already accept these materials, including Southeast Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA), Emterra (East Lansing, Lansing) and Kent County.

“Working with the other recycling stakeholders in the region ensures we are all singing from the same sheet of music to ensure we accept valuable materials and educate our residents, ” said Mike Csapo, general manager of Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County (RRRASOC). “Paper cups and cartons are items our residents use a lot, and they have a desire to recycle. We are excited to provide the opportunity now for them to be recycled.”

“It’s really exciting that the City of Detroit is now able to join other communities in the region to recycle paper cups and food and beverage cartons,” Nishaat Killeen, City of Detroit recycling coordinator. “We all work together as a region to take care of our waste materials. Adding clean and empty paper cups and cartons to our acceptable recyclables is a win for everyone.”

Once recyclables are received at the recycling facilities, they are sorted and then sent to paper mills, most of which are located in the Great Lakes Region, where they are made into new recycled-content products, such as paper towels. To help this process, GFL Environmental Recycling has installed technology at their New Boston facility to sort paper cups and food and beverage cartons. The addition of this technology was made possible due to a grant from the Foodservice Packaging Institute and Carton Council as part of ongoing initiatives to increase recycling of paper cups and food and beverage cartons in communities across the country.

“We are happy to have such strong partners with FPI, CCNA and EGLE to help us implement these new additions,” said Brent Hildebrand, vice president of recycling for GFL Environmental. “Technology in our facility helps to make it possible to sort recyclables and offer additional opportunities for residents to recycle materials with value that deserve to have the opportunity to go on to make new products.”

EGLE has committed grant investments in facilities like GFL through the NextCycle Michigan initative. This type of investment into Michigan’s recycling systems has positive economic, environmental and supply chain benefits for the entire state.

Michigan is a valuable location for adding paper cups to its recycling stream due to its proximity to end markets in and around the state,” said Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute. “The state is committed to growing recycling and end markets to meet its goals.”

“Food and beverage cartons are made primarily of paper and represent some of the highest quality fiber in the recycling stream,” said Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council and vice president of circular economy, Americas and South Asia, East Asia and Oceania for Tetra Pak. “Given the close proximity to several paper mills in the region, it’s especially beneficial to recycle as many cartons as possible so they can be used to make new everyday paper products.”

Residents can place their clean and empty paper cups and food and beverage cartons in their recycling carts. Metro Detroit and other area communities will be participating in a joint outreach campaign in the coming weeks to notify residents about these newly accepted materials. Learn more about the additional recycling options coming to curbsides at

ABOUT FPI: Founded in 1933, the Foodservice Packaging Institute is the trade association for the foodservice packaging industry in North America. FPI promotes the value and benefits of foodservice packaging and serves as the industry’s leading authority to educate and influence stakeholders. Members include raw material and machinery suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and purchasers of foodservice packaging. For more information or to follow us on social media, visit

Media Contact

Natha Dempsey, Foodservice Packaging Institute, 571.255.4212, [email protected]



SOURCE Foodservice Packaging Institute

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