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U.S. Paper Recycling Hits Record Level

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK, April 1, 2008 - A record 56 percent of the paper consumed in the United States was recovered for recycling in 2007, it was announced today by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA).

"Paper recycling is a great American success story," said Patrick J. Moore, chairman and CEO of Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, an AF&PA member, the world's largest paperboard and paper-based packaging company and one of the world's largest paper recyclers. "Americans already recycle a large percentage of two paper grades, corrugated containers and newspapers, so achieving AF&PA's 60 percent recovery goal by 2012 will require focus on increasing recovery of other grades including printing and writing papers, catalogs, and direct mail, as well as extracting additional fiber from our country's waste stream."

Smurfit-Stone is investing in advanced waste sorting line technology to extract more fiber from the waste stream. This enhanced sort-system technology allows Smurfit-Stone to dig deeper into the municipal solid waste stream to recover more fiber and other recyclables using a series of mechanically separating screens, discs, magnets and air currents to separate various recyclable materials into their base components. Placed at landfills or municipal waste transfer stations, Smurfit-Stone's systems help communities and waste haulers reduce their tipping fees, landfill expansion requirements, and fuel emissions related to waste processing.

Total paper recovery reached 54.3 million tons in 2007, equaling 360 pounds of paper for every man, woman, and child in America. That's enough paper to fill the Empire State Building 100 times.

"As in all areas of environmental progress, we are constantly challenging ourselves to continue to make a positive impact on our natural resources," Moore said. "Given the increasing global demand for recycled fiber, increasing our fiber recovery rate represents a growth opportunity for our company, as well as being good for the environment."