DS Smith, Indianapolis Public Schools offer free, recyclable boxes for students moving to college in ‘Pack to School’ campaign

Young people being targeted with reminders on importance of sustainability efforts

INDIANAPOLIS – Aug. 10, 2021 – Indiana students heading to college can get free, recyclable moving boxes, thanks to a “Pack to School” campaign announced today by DS Smith, a leading paper and corrugated packaging supplier, and Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).

DS Smith said the box giveaways, manufactured at its central Indiana plant in Lebanon, are part of its global efforts to raise awareness on the need to protect the environment, encourage recycling and support a circular economy that aims to reduce and design out waste.

DS Smith reached out to IPS, the state’s largest school district, after the company’s recent nationwide survey found Baby Boomers are those most motivated to recycle leftover boxes while young people – Millennials and Gen Z – are the least interested in doing so.

“With our study finding Baby Boomers take recycling more seriously than younger generations, we wanted to send a reminder to students across Indiana and the country on the importance of recycling and implementing sustainable practices into everyday life,” said David McCracken, business unit general manager, DS Smith.

“Being green starts at home, and we want each student to take that approach to their home away from home this fall,” McCracken said.

Many of the state’s top universities, including Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana University, Ball State, Valparaiso and DePauw, promote their recycling programs, from designated containers in dorms to larger trash and recycling sites on campus.

With waves of students preparing for college, those and other sustainable practices can make a lasting difference, said DS Smith and the school district.

What kind of difference? If each of Indiana University’s undergraduate students needed six large boxes in their move and didn’t recycle them, the unfolded cardboard would cover the Indiana Hoosiers Memorial Stadium football field 70 times over.

The free cardboard moving boxes, along with a recycling tips sheet from DS Smith, will be available starting Thursday at four IPS high schools:

  • Arsenal Tech High School
  • Crispus Attucks High School   
  • George Washington High School
  • Shortridge High School

IPS said students should contact their Future Center Resource Associate to schedule a pickup time.

DS Smith’s high-tech manufacturing plant formally opened in January 2020 in Lebanon, keeping pace with increasing demands by consumers and retailers for fully recyclable boxes and “fit-to-product” packaging that reduces costs and waste.

The facility can produce about 300,000 boxes an hour and 2 billion square feet of recyclable packaging a year.

About DS Smith

DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable fiber-based packaging worldwide, which is supported by recycling and papermaking operations. It plays a central role in the value chain across sectors including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials. Through its purpose of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’ and its Now and Next sustainability strategy, DS Smith is committed to leading the transition to the circular economy, while delivering more circular solutions for its customers and wider society – replacing problem plastics, taking carbon out of supply chains and providing innovative recycling solutions. Its bespoke box-to-box in 14 days model, design capabilities and innovation strategy sits at the heart of this response. Headquartered in London and a member of the FTSE 100, DS Smith operates in 34 countries employing around 30,000 people and is a Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Its history can be traced back to the box-making businesses started in the 1940s by the Smith family.

North American operations are headquartered in Atlanta, with 13 manufacturing, paper and recycling facilities, totaling more than 2,000 employees. Using the combined expertise of its divisions – including Packaging, Recycling, Paper – DS Smith works with customers to develop solutions that reduce complexity and deliver results throughout the supply chain.

About Indianapolis Public Schools

The largest public school district in Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is an agile, innovative educational organization committed to academic excellence built through individualized, relationship-based learning. We empower our students to think critically, creatively and responsibly, to embrace diversity and pursue their dreams with purpose. Though we cover 80 square miles, employ over 5,000 people, and serve over 30,000 students, we are committed to serving individual students with what they need.