UK-headquartered international packaging business DS Smith has opened its first recycling facility in the US in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The new 43,000ft2 facility is located adjacent to one of the company’s paper mills and within a mile from its Pennsylvania packaging plant.

The Reading facility is capable of recycling 36,000 tonnes of old corrugated cardboard (OCC) annually, supporting DS Smith’s recyclable packaging operations in the country.

Additionally, the local DS Smith team will work with other parties to procure paper from local packaging facilities, retailers and print shops and distribution centres for recycling.

DS Smith North America recycling head Toby Earnest said: “Our goal is to achieve zero cardboard and paper going to landfill after packaging is used.

“We have quite a bit of work to do in the US before this can become a reality, but the opening of our recycling facility is an important first step in developing an infrastructure that can support a circular system in the US.”

In the first step, the new recycling facility will separate cardboard and paper from other materials, such as plastic, glass and metal. Subsequently, the recyclable products will be compressed into large bundled bales.

The plant will serve the paper mill, as well as deliver recycled packaging products to its partners and other companies.

DS Smith North America managing director of packaging Mark Ushpol said: “We are very excited about the growth opportunity in the United States and increasing our investment in the Reading community.

“Our customers are demanding new packaging solutions that are fully recyclable and recycled in practice, driving a more circular business model.”

The opening of the Reading recycling plant is aligned with DS Smith’s strategy to expand its business operations in North America.

It comes nearly two months after the company opened an automated corrugated packaging plant in Lebanon, Indiana.