What Happens to All the Cardboard Boxes?
It is likely that in the countdown to Christmas, you received many orders packaged in cardboard boxes. With many retailers forced to close in lockdown, online shopping grew at at accelerated rates through 2020. All those e-commerce deliveries can leave you with quite a collection of cardboard boxes.
Some of the boxes may have been reused. They could be used in gift wrapping, for storage or even to create games and activities to keep the family entertained.
Many would have been flattened and put in the recycling. Before Christmas, we encouraged you to take flattened boxes to your local recycling centre.
Recycling Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard boxes can be processed; the fibres are broken down and reformed into new cardboard. Most corrugated cardboard boxes are formed from around 80% recycled fibres. This is why it is a sustainable packaging material; we need a good supply of old cardboard boxes to keep producing new ones.
The challenge is the number of boxes that are being used and left for recycling can extend beyond the capacity of many council waste sites. The combination of lockdown and Christmas would have pushed resources to the limit.
The Importance of Reduce and Reuse
Recycling packaging materials may sound like the best environmental approach, but there are two preferential options. The first is for all manufacturers and retailers to focus on ways to reduce the volume of packaging used.
Although there have been many positive moves, many products still use excessive packaging. Customers are still receiving large boxes, with loads of fillers and only a small product inside. Bespoke packaging design will optimise materials; providing sufficient protection for the goods inside and nothing more.
Packaging design can also explore ways to encourage reuse. As an example, cardboard boxes can be resealed for returns or can use print and templates to inspire creative projects from used packaging.
2021 is the time to review your ecommerce packaging; focus on reducing, reusing and recycling. For advice, a quote and samples, get in touch with the informative team at Aylesbury Box Company. Call 01296 436888 or email email@example.com to discuss your requirements.
Cardboard Science in Development
In a world that is becoming overwhelmed by waste, we need fresh innovations. For packaging waste, it would be fantastic to have another method of disposal that is beneficial to the environment. Aylesbury Box Company are interested to learn that a Korean research scientist may have discovered the answer.
Sun-Mi Lee works for the Clean Energy Research Centre at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology. She and her team have developed a microorganism that converts the glucose and sugars present in cardboard into biodiesel.
Biodiesels are currently formed by fermenting food crops, releasing ethanol, which can be used as a fuel. Sun-Mi Lee is keen to develop solutions that create fuel from waste products. As a result, food crops could be used to feed people and cardboard waste could provide power. Although in the early development stages, this scientific innovation has the potential to become an effective waste management process for cardboard boxes.
Commitment to Sustainable Packaging
Cardboard is one of the most sustainable packaging materials. It is produced from a high percentage of recycled fibres and is widely recycled. The potential of a microorganism that converts excessive cardboard into fuel would further enhance its credentials.
Until this innovation is rolled out across the world, we all have to take action. The global impact of a rise in e-commerce packaging should be considered by every manufacturer, retailer and packaging company.