Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd, and it provides an opportunity for employees and contractors of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to reflect on the organization’s sustainability efforts.
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Recycling plays a crucial role in today’s modern U.S. Postal Service. USPS annually recycles around 300,000 tons of various materials, including paper, cardboard, plastics, metals, printer ink cartridges and toner, batteries, discarded mail, and others, through its recycling and waste prevention programs.
One of the prominent programs in USPS’s recycling efforts is the National Recycling Operation (NRO), which leverages postal transportation equipment to transport recyclables from delivery and retail units to recycling hubs.
Thanks to the NRO program, postal facilities recycled more than 85,000 tons of cardboard in 2022, a substantial increase from 39,000 tons in 2017.
The program also recycles mixed paper, such as white and colored paper, newspapers, envelopes, magazines, catalogs and directories, manila file folders, and Post-it notes.
Recycled paper is frequently used to make cardboard boxes, according to research by EcoWatch, an environmental news organization.
Roughly half of the paper recovered for recycling in the United States in 2021 was used to make cardboard boxes, including Priority Mail shipping supplies, which can be recycled again.
The USPS Sustainability Excellence Awards, for example, recognize efforts to create a more sustainable workplace and protect the environment. Additionally, the Environmental Affairs and Corporate Sustainability Blue page provides additional information about recycling and other sustainable practices.
Overall, USPS has made significant strides in its recycling and waste prevention efforts, and the organization is committed to continuing its sustainability journey.
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