How to Recycle Corrugated Packaging
With many industries striving to go green and reduce their carbon footprint, corrugated packaging has become a popular choice. This type of packaging is tough and sturdy which makes it great for shipping and packaging. Additionally, it is made from a combination of wood fibers and paper pulp, making it recyclable up to seven times. Recycling corrugated packaging reduces waste, conserves resources, and protects the environment.
Why is Corrugated Sustainable?
The concept of sustainability is based on the idea that our existence depends on our natural environment and that it’s important to maintain conditions that allow us to coexist with nature in the present and future.
Corrugated packaging is a sustainable option because it’s made primarily from trees, which are a renewable resource. According to Corrugated, this packaging has a high recovery rate of around 90%. In 2018, the corrugated industry was able to recover and recycle 96% of the old corrugated containers. Compared to other packaging materials, corrugated materials have an extremely high recovery rate, while plastic has a recovery rate of only about 15%.
Moreover, corrugated packaging is biodegradable and can be recycled multiple times without losing strength or quality. This makes it a much better option compared to other non-biodegradable packaging materials that can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills and often release harmful chemicals into the environment.
How to Recycle Corrugated Cardboard
Most corrugated cardboard boxes are recyclable, with only a few exceptions. These boxes are commonly made from recycled materials, such as other corrugated boxes, which makes them one of the most environmentally friendly packaging materials available. The recycling process for corrugated cardboard is as follows:
- Preparation: Remove additional packaging materials such as foam inserts, plastic wraps, or wood inserts to ensure that the recycling process only involves the corrugated box.
- Cutting: Use a box cutter to cut the packing tape on the bottom and sides of the box to loosen it and make it easier to break down.
- Flattening: Extend all of the box’s flaps and press it flat. This step saves space during transportation and makes storing the boxes easier until they are recycled.
- Sorting: Check with your local recycling program to determine if corrugated boxes need to be separated from bottles and cans. If so, separate them accordingly.
- Recycling: Place the broken-down corrugated box in the curbside recycling bin or take it to a recycling center and place it in the correct bin.
- Baling (optional): Many recycling facilities use a baler machine to compact the boxes into dense bundles. This saves space, reduces the number of trips needed for transportation, and promotes more efficient use of resources.
- Repulping: The bales are transported to a paper mill where the corrugated boxes are fed into a repulper and agitated to create a slushy mixture of fiber and water.
- Contaminant Removal: The fiber solution is filtered to eliminate contaminants and poured onto a conveyor belt to create a seamless mat of fibers.
- Slitting and Winding: The wet fiber is dried, rolled onto a large reel spool, slit, and rewound into individual rolls. These rolls are then shipped to sheet plants to be utilized as eco-friendly corrugated packaging.
Alpha Packaging’s Sustainability Efforts
At Alpha Packaging, we are committed to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. We recognize that corrugated cardboard is a greener alternative to plastic, which is why we use clean processing methods, to take our sustainability initiatives to the next level. Additionally, we prioritize the use of eco-friendly materials in our facility.
We create corrugated containers that are made to be as environmentally conscious as possible, reducing waste, chemical impact, and the use of harmful plastics. Our boxes are biodegradable, which helps our customers and their end-users reduce their carbon footprint. We integrate green principles into our product development to ensure we are in line with the latest sustainability practices.
We believe that our sustainability efforts will continue to expand as we integrate more green practices into our operation, helping preserve the Earth’s resources for future generations and keeping local communities cleaner.
Go Green with Alpha Packaging
When you choose products with eco-friendly packaging, you are helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and oceans. Request a quote or contact us today to learn more about our sustainable packaging solutions, and let us work together to create a greener future.