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NATION'S LEADER IN BEVERAGE PACKAGING SYSTEMS INTRODUCING RECYCLED CARRIERS

 NATION'S LEADER IN BEVERAGE PACKAGING SYSTEMS
 INTRODUCING RECYCLED CARRIERS
 DAYTON, Ohio, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Mead Corporation (NYSE: MEA) today announced it is introducing recycled fiber into its multi-pack beverage carriers.
 Mead is the world's largest manufacturer of multiple packaging systems for the soft drink and brewery industries. The company, which invented the original six-bottle paperboard basket carrier in the 1950s, has invested more than $16 million in new recycling capacity and has already manufactured and test marketed beverage carriers with up to 25 percent recycled content. It will be producing beverage carriers with recycled content for the market before year end.
 "Earlier this month, Mead told its customers that it will add an increasing amount of recycled fiber in its beverage packaging over the next several years," said P. Carter Smith, president of Mead Packaging division. The company successfully completed manufacturing and market tests in the summer and fall of 1991.
 "In addition to the $16 million invested to date, the company will invest even more in 1992 to increase the percentage of recycled fiber in its beverage carrier," Smith said. Significant capital investments will be made at Mead's Alabama coated board mill, which manufactures the coated paperboard used in Mead's beverage carriers, to expand its capacity for using recycled fiber, including fiber recovered after consumer use.
 "Mead will continue to strive for a higher percentage of recycled fiber," Smith said. "The critical thing is to do that while maintaining the carrier's strength, structural integrity and economy. We expect the percentage of recycled fiber could go higher than the 25 percent we are currently accomplishing on a trial basis."
 Introduction of beverage carrier board with recycled fiber is one of several initiatives Mead's packaging business is undertaking to address the public's concerns about solid waste. Others include pilot programs to increase the recovery of beverage cartons, tests to explore the use of low-value waste paper for energy production, and continuing efforts to reduce packaging weight.
 Many of Mead's beverage carriers are currently recovered and recycled with corrugated boxes. Working with some of its major customers, Mead will develop joint pilot programs that will recover a greater portion of these carriers, as well as find other appropriate uses for this high-quality fiber. The division plans to announce more details on these projects in the coming months.
 Mead is also exploring alternative forms of disposal for paper waste, such as substituting it for other fuel in modern, clean- burning industrial boilers. Paper waste is being tested in Mead's wood-waste boilers at its Alabama coated board mill. The mill is nearly energy self-sufficient, producing most of its own steam and electricity from bark, sawdust and other wood wastes, as well as recovered pulping liquors.
 Innovative design has allowed Mead to develop stronger, lighter weight beverage carriers that use less fiber. For consumers, that means less to dispose of. Mead Packaging was also the first in the industry to convert all of its U.S. and European rotary carton printing operations to water-based inks, which substantially reduced air emissions at these facilities. Its sheet fed operations also use water-based varnishes and the new aqueous offset plates.
 The Mead Corporation has endorsed the U.S. paper industry's goal of increasing the recovery rate of paper and paperboard from its present level of 34 percent to 40 percent by 1995.
 "Recovery of usable fiber is one important way to help ease the burden on the municipal solid waste stream," said Samuel S. Benedict, Mead president and chief operating officer. "Other sound alternatives for paper waste disposal include waste-to-energy systems, composting and landfills. They all have a role to play in solving our solid waste problem."
 Benedict also stated his hope that business and government will work together to develop recovery systems which collect and separate recyclable materials and ensure that the marketplace for recovered fiber remains open and flexible. "The choice of fiber for packaging should depend on how the package must perform," he said. "While Mead is committed to using a greater amount of recycled fiber, we oppose regulations that would mandate the fiber content of packaging."
 He suggested uniform national guidelines for paperboard package labeling, which identify its recyclability and recycled content, would be helpful in avoiding consumer confusion. Mead Packaging is currently assisting its customers in meeting the states' numerous and varied labeling requirements.
 Mead Packaging designs and manufactures both packages and the high-speed equipment which assembles and fills them. The division's plants in North America, Europe and the Far East use coated paperboard supplied by the Mead Coated Board division. Mead Packaging also has licensees in Mexico, Central and South America and the Middle East. Mead Coated Board produces 800,000 tons annually of coated natural kraft paperboard. CNK (R) is used in beverage packaging and folding cartons worldwide.
 -0- 1/28/92
 /CONTACT: Sharon Williamson of The Mead Corporation, 513-495-3535/
 (MEA) CO: The Mead Corporation ST: Ohio IN: PAP SU: PDT


CG -- CL016 -- 4229 01/28/92 12:07 EST
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Date:Jan 28, 1992
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