Interested in a custom packaging solution? Looking for more information on our packaging products? Contact us by email, phone, or request a free quote below. We can’t wait to work with you.
In a world facing unprecedented environmental challenges, adopting sustainable practices for used or waste goods has never been more important. But figuring out how to implement these sustainable practices into your business can take a little more than just a quick change here and there.
One way businesses and homes can make a simple yet impactful change to help the environment is by reducing the amount of cardboard packaging they throw away and choosing to recycle it instead. In this article, we will walk through the process of recycling cardboard, including why it is important, and whether all types of cardboard can be recycled.
Recycling cardboard is important for many reasons.
One of the most important reasons to recycle cardboard is to reduce the environmental impact of the sheer volume of cardboard we regularly use. Cardboard is one of the most common types of packaging used worldwide, with the average household throwing away up to 13,000 pieces per year. While cardboard is made from a renewable resource, producing it puts a lot of pressure on foresting and protecting natural green spaces. Recycling cardboard reduces this pressure and helps conserve natural resources.
Another important reason why you should try to recycle cardboard is that it is relatively easy to do compared to other products. Made from kraft paper, this paper-based product can quite easily be decomposed and remade into a new cardboard product. Typically, cardboard can be recycled up to seven times and, in most cases, does not require any major intervention on the person or company choosing to recycle it.
So if you are looking to make your business or home more sustainable with its used goods, recycling as much of your cardboard as possible is a straightforward and effective goal.
Generally, all cardboard is recyclable. But there are a few exceptions to this rule.
If your cardboard packaging was used to contain food or drink products, you will need to check with your local authority or collection service that it can be recycled. Some cardboard products have an additional layer of film used to prevent contamination of food products, especially anything containing raw meat and fish or medicinal products. These may not be recyclable because of the risk of causing a biological hazard.
Similarly, some cardboard packages may have thermal lining to help regulate the temperature inside the box. Again, it is always good to be cautious and check on your local authority’s website if you need to do anything before placing these types of cardboard in the recycling bin.
Although it is generally easier to sort cardboard for recycling than other packaging products, you should still take time to inspect your packaging waste and make sure it is collected in the right bin. This is because if you try to recycle non-recyclable products, it can actually spoil a whole batch of packaging waste and result in a large amount of it being thrown away.
To effectively recycle cardboard at your business or home, carry out the following steps:
The first step is making sure you have a bin or receptacle to collect your cardboard for recycling. If you operate a business, you might want to make sure that your employees are not tempted to throw used cardboard in general waste bins. Instead, make sure that every normal trash bin has a supplementary recycling bin so it is conveniently accessible to all. Simple practices like this can help your business boost its recycling efforts and do its part to help the environment.
Before having your cardboard recycled or disposed of, be sure to inspect your cardboard for any of the potentially prohibited cardboard items mentioned above.
You will also want to make sure no other non-recyclable products are hidden inside any cardboard boxes. This can include products like bubble-lined wrap, which is not recyclable in most areas. Stickers or tags may need to be removed too, especially if they contain any personal information or are made from a non-recyclable material.
While cardboard is quite flexible and lightweight, it can take up a large amount of space.
It is a good idea to fold, bend or crush any large cardboard boxes before storing them in a collection bin. This helps save space and reduces the likelihood of any cardboard falling out while being collected and disposed of.
The next step is making sure your used cardboard can get to a recycling center easily.
If you have a small amount of cardboard, you can also have it recycled at the curbside. Similarly, if your local authority collects cardboard and recyclable packaging, you can simply place it in the correct disposal bin.
For larger disposals, you may need to arrange for a collection with a company that can handle commercial recycling waste.
Recycling basic cardboard goods is definitely beneficial for the environment, but recycling those trickier items can do even more good for the environment and help combat climate change and pollutants. If you are looking to go the extra mile, consider also setting up similar recycling processes for items that might not be as easily recycled as cardboard.
Just because a good cannot be recycled as easily as products like cardboard, it does not necessarily need to be thrown in the garbage. If your local authority does not provide recycling services, you may want to visit a local recycling center instead or investigate to see if it can be composted instead.
If you still are unable to realistically recycle cardboard products at scale, you can explore other options like optimizing your packaging process to reduce waste. Not only will this save on packaging materials, but it can even improve your bottom line too. Find out how to effectively reduce packaging waste in your business here!
If you are looking for sustainable, cardboard packaging for your business, contact Crownhill Packaging. As champions of innovation in the packaging industry, we provide environmentally-friendly packaging products and solutions to businesses across North America. This includes solutions for products that are ordinarily difficult to recycle, like our curbside recyclable mailers, and more!
To learn more about how we can help you get the quality packaging solutions you need, reach out to our team today!