Recycled paperboard mfrs. unite to promote usage.

Fourteen leading US manufacturers of recycled paperboard have responded to increasing consumer demand for 100% recycled paperboard and booming production of the material by establishing the 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance (RPA-100%).

The alliance is initiating a multi-year campaign to increase the use of 100% paperboard packaging across all categories of consumer products as well as for commercial and industrial packaging applications. The campaign is designed to address a growing consumer preference for 100% recycled paperboard packaging in a variety of products ranging from cereals and crackers to soaps, detergents, toys and hardware.

The initiative will use a brand strategy to showcase 100% recycled paperboard as the economically and environmentally preferred packaging material. "RPA-100% will drive home to customer companies, retailers and consumers that buying 100% recycled paperboard is the most effective means of doing good for the environment and for themselves," according to Bradley Currey Jr., president and chief executive officer of Rock-Tenn Co. His company is one of the founding members of the alliance marketing group.

The strategy will include promotions and special events with environmental themes coordinated with retailer partners such as supermarkets. With the support of point-of-purchase displays and in-store events, these promotions are designed to generate store traffic, sales and community goodwill for participating retailers and manufacturers of products packaged in 100% recycled paperboard. Among the in-store events planned are shopping challenges, sweepstakes and celebrity appearances.

"The RPA-100% marketing campaign will enable companies to take advantage of [consumers'] favorable predisposition to build their sales and corporate goodwill," says Lynn Arrants, director of marketing and sales for Packaging Corp of America, an alliance member.

The campaign will also include a consumer rewards program, incorporating a symbol collection and redemption program, designed to motivate consumers to look for and buy products featuring 100% recycled paperboard.

Elementary and middle school students will receive the environmental message of 100% recycled paperboard through a comprehensive package of educational and display materials, including teacher guides, lesson plans and interactive studies for students. Finally, the marketing program will be supported by an ongoing publicity campaign that will emphasize the relevance of 100% recycled paperboard's environmental benefits to consumers' lifestyles and communities.

Annually, recycled paperboard producers consume more than 7.4 million tons of recovered paper that otherwise would have been burned or landfilled. A 1994 national survey of more than 1,200 primary shoppers conducted by LH Research showed that 84% report buying products packaged in 100% recycled paperboard, 81% feel better about a company knowing it packages its products in 100% recycled paperboard and 91% want consumer product manufacturers to increase their use of recycled paperboard packages.

"As the largest end use of recovered paper products like old corrugated containers, old newspapers and mixed office papers, 100% recycled paperboard maximizes the recycling efforts of millions of American consumers and their communities," Currey says. "The companies that use our products directly support the daily recycling activities of their own customers, the consumers of America."

RPA-100% has scheduled the roll-out of the marketing campaign to begin on a regional basis this year. The initiative will be funded and sponsored by alliance members.

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