A series of new fact sheets is available from the Corrugated Packaging Alliance to answer questions that businesses and their customers have about the sustainability of corrugated cardboard packaging.

The first two fact sheets — “Recyclable Wax Alternatives” and “Carbon Sequestration” — became available in mid-October. They are in direct response to questions from corrugated manufacturers’ customers, according to a news release from the Corrugated Packaging Alliance.

Growing interest in sustainability has increased the need for the corrugated industry to back-up its product claims, alliance executive director Dwight Schmidt said in the release. Information for the fact sheets comes from the alliance’s life-cycle analysis, which evaluated the performance of one kilogram of “industry average” corrugated product during its entire life cycle.

Supermarkets are the driving force behind the recycling of corrugated cardboard containers, according to the alliance fact sheet, because of the revenue it provides. As of 2010, corrugated cardboard recovery reached 85%, maintaining its place as the No. 1 recycled packing material.

One environmental concern about corrugated cardboard packaging in the fresh produce industry in recent years has been the use of wax to increase the durability of boxes used in damp or iced conditions. The packaging industry has responded with the development of wax alternatives, according to the alliance fact sheet.

The 113-page alliance study, available at http://tinyurl.com/corrugated-2010, reported a 30% increase last year in the use of wax alternatives for corrugated cardboard. Seven coating suppliers and 10 converting companies have developed 38 recyclable wax alternatives that have earned certification and have been registered with the Fibre Box Association.