Recyclable Wax Alternatives

Traditionally, some corrugated containers have been treated with wax coatings to provide moisture and vapor protection for safely transporting products requiring it (such as broccoli, usually packed in ice). Wax coatings cannot be recycled because they do not dissolve in water, so they create problems in the repulping process. The industry has worked diligently to develop recyclable alternatives, many of which are now becoming commercially available. These can be certified repulpable and recyclable by passing an industry-standard testing protocol. Certified materials should be marked with one of these symbols:


More information:
In August 2013, CPA finished administrative changes to the Voluntary Standard For Recyclable Wax Alternatives. The Voluntary Standard For Repulping and Recycling Corrugated Fiberboard Treated to Improve Its Performance in the Presence of Water and Water Vapor is an industry-standard testing protocol to certify repulpable and recyclable wax alternatives.

No changes have been made to the actual Repulpability and Recycling testing protocols. The administrative changes focus on communication, particularly between suppliers of treatment chemicals and/or treated containerboard suppliers and their customers.

Click here to access the Voluntary Standard.
Click here for the application and materials forms in Microsoft Word format.

Note: Suppliers have the responsibility to provide sufficient information to their customers to enable them to manufacture product with treatment levels not exceeding the tested/registered maximums. Also, suppliers should advise their customers that in order to use the "Corrugated Recycles - A" symbol, the customers must file an "Option B" registration with the FBA. There are no testing or Registration costs associated with an "Option B" Registration. The customers also must acknowledge in the "Option B" registration that they have received sufficient information to manufacture their recyclable wet strength products within the tested/registered treatment maximums.

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