New Check List Helps Consumers Adopt a “Papertarian” Lifestyle in Time for Earth Day

Papertarian checklist

Helping consumers become papertarians is the goal of a new check list developed by the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB). Papertarians are people who choose and use paper products because they know it is a smart choice for the environment and then recycle them to make further use of natural resources. In time for Earth Day 2024, the Papertarian Check List aims to help consumers build long-term, environmentally friendly habits. 

“Earth Day has helped people embrace a mindset about how we can and should protect our planet. We know that habit shifts happen over time. That’s why we want to take these Earth Day wins to the next level with great information and resources about paper since it comes from a renewable resource and is recyclable,” explained Mary Anne Hansan, president of P+PB. “Everyone can be a papertarian!”

The Papertarian Check List has tips showing how to work paper into all facets of everyday life—including shopping, working, living, and then recycling. A printable version is online and can be printed and posted as an easy reminder. Here are the ways:

Buy Papertarian 

  • Choose foods and drinks packaged in paper: paper egg cartons, pasta, ice cream, boxed or bagged dry goods, and beverages in paper cartons
  • Choose personal care products packaged in paper: deodorant, cosmetics, first-aid items, soaps and detergents
  • Opt for paper bags at checkout

Work Papertarian 

  • Print emails and other key documents to lessen digital fatigue
  • Take notes on paper
  • Use paper for planning to help with retention: calendars, to-do lists, etc.

Live Papertarian 

  • Have paper food containers on hand for leftovers when entertaining
  • Purchase (or make!) paper-based decor
  • Keep paper copies of important documents on file in case of emergency
  • Play paper-based family games
  • Choose paper-based gifts
  • Send thank-you notes and birthday cards

Recycle Papertarian

  • Empty, flatten, and recycle all paper packaging
  • Print your local recycling guidelines and post them near your bins
  • Ask your recycling center to update its guidelines to include pizza boxes

Currently, nearly 68% of recyclable paper materials are recycled. In addition to more jurisdictions and recycling facilities accepting additional types of paper products, recycling is increasingly part of Americans’ lives as they cement their recycling habits. In fact, the paper and packaging industry is investing nearly $7 billion through 2025 in innovations that will do more and do it better so that consumers know that the paper products they buy remain part of the circular economy.