The 2015 holiday season is upon us!

This is one of the busiest times of the year. Between creating new traditions and celebrating old ones, one thing remains present — the use of paper and paper-based packaging.

Online shopping has changed consumers’ shopping behaviors. According to research conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than 103 million people shopped online over the Thanksgiving weekend. (That’s a lot of boxes being shipped!) Another NRF survey showed that mobile retailing continues to grow as more and more consumers rely on their smartphones and tablets to research products and find gift ideas.

Additionally, due to continued e-commerce growth and improvements to its Priority Mail product line, the United States Postal Service (USPS) estimates more than 15.5 billion cards, letters, and packages will be delivered – including 600 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve! In 2014 USPS set two delivery records: on December 15th, it delivered 27.9 million packages and just a week later it delivered a record-setting 28.2 million packages!

Cooking and baking are another way paper-based packaging takes part in the holiday season. Just take a look in your pantry, kitchen cupboard or refrigerator. Most of those boxes are made out of paperboard—pasta, crackers, cake mixes, hot cocoa, etc. (Helpful research for the 2016 PPA Student Design Challenge!)If you are making your favorite holiday dessert or dish, you are bound to use something that came in a paperboard box.

If you are giving gifts, don’t forget to put that present into a paperboard box and wrap it with paper gift wrapping. Once you are done with all the paper-based boxes, gift bags, letters, cards, and wrapping paper, recycle them! Check with your community’s recycling office to see what can and cannot be recycled.

Happy holidays to those near and far. Here’s to an exciting and prosperous 2016!

The PPA Team