Why is it essential to recycle your corrugated cardboard?

By: Harold Hary Posted On: Sep-06-2022 
corrugated cardboard boxes

Environmental pollution has become a big global issue. All the countries are taking immediate steps to mitigate different ecological challenges. Packaging waste is among the significant environmental challenges, and all the countries have serious concerns with it. Corrugated and cardboard materials are used for manufacturing packaging solutions. It has become essential to recycle these materials for various reasons. Let’s discuss why it is important to recycle these materials.

What exactly Cardboard is?

Do you know about cardboard? Another name for this material is “old corrugated cardboard (OCC).” This is one of the best readily recyclable materials. It is used for manufacturing different types of packaging boxes. It has many practical applications in various fields. Although, this material is made from paper pulp material. The pulp comes from timber. It can also be created from recycled woodchips and shaving leftover from lumber mill waste. It is used in the production of cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, paper towels, and milk or juice cartons.

Why is it Essential to Recycle It?

Recycling cardboard is vital for many reasons. Before knowing the reasons to recycle it, you should know which kind of cardboard can be recycled. When you collect it for recycling, you should make sure that it is clean and dry. It would help to flatten all the cardboard boxes before placing them in the recycling container. You can also recycle it with small contamination such as grease and liquid. You can’t consider waxed cardboard for recycling. Following are some significant reasons to recycle it.

Reduce Landfill

The most important benefit of recycling this material is that it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill sites. You must understand that these landfill sites are notorious for their harmful impacts on the local environment. They lead to increased atmospheric and land pollution. Thus, recycling this material can help to tackle these issues. Different organizations have developed innovative methods to recycle or reuse other materials. They try to minimize the amount of waste reaching landfill sites.

Decreases Greenhouse Emissions

You may understand that an increased amount of waste reaching landfill sites may lead to increased emission of greenhouse gases. Methane is among the greenhouse gases, and it is released by cardboard during its breakdown. This gas can have serious detrimental effects on the environment and climate. This is one of the essential benefits of recycling cardboard: it can help minimize the emission of greenhouse gases. It will ultimately help to keep the environment healthy.

Save Energy and Trees

There is a shortage of energy, and everyone is trying to save energy. When you have to manufacture cardboard from virgin materials, it requires more energy. On the contrary, you don’t need more energy while processing existing cardboard. Hence, this is another important factor that favors the recycling of cardboard. You can save energy by recycling it instead of producing it from virgin materials. In the previous sections, we have also described that cardboard is made from timber or trees. In the production of cardboard from trees, deforestation occurs, and trees are cut. This will increase deforestation and decrease the number of forests. Therefore, you can recycle cardboard and save trees. It will help to avoid deforestation. It will also help to save wildlife living in the forests. Moreover, increased tress will produce oxygen which is essential for living things.

Reduces Pollution

We know that most manufacturers and brands use cardboard boxes for packaging their products. They use them for shipping their items. After they have served their job, people get their products out of the box and dispose of these boxes. It leads to the production of a lot of waste. This waste increases land pollution. They may lead to the spread of pandemics or different health issues. Therefore, recycling cardboard can help prevent the formation of big waste piles. It can also help reduce pollution and keep the environment healthy for living things. Hence, recycling cardboard is essential because it reduces pollution.

Creates Jobs

Another good reason for recycling cardboard is that it creates jobs for many people. We know that recycling is an extensive labor-intensive process. It involves activities such as collecting cardboard, sorting it, processing, admin, sales, and logistics. For these all activities, a workforce is required. Hence, recycling can help in reducing unemployment by creating many job opportunities. This is a significant factor that can add to economic growth and stability.

The Recycling Procedure

We have described the benefits of recycling cardboard. Now, we should try to know about the procedure of recycling. Different departments are involved in the recycling process. There are many haulers for collecting cardboard and paper for recycling. It can help maximize recycling opportunities and minimize the space required for recycling. You should guide your haulers on what kind of paper and cardboard should be collected for recycling. The haulers pick this material from institutes and business points and carry them to a facility where they are sorted and baled. This baled cardboard can be quickly shipped to domestic paper mills. These mills will recycle it into new paper products. Trucks deliver a large amount of cardboard waste to different recycling units, where it is inspected, pulped, rolled to form sheets, and cut into shapes ready for market.

What Happens after Recycling?

You must know what happens after recycling cardboard. The best part of this process is that recycled cardboard is the best material. You can use it for manufacturing boxes, sheets, and various other purposes. Moreover, you can recycle it again and again without losing strength. Hence, there is no need to worry that their quality will be affected after recycling.

Do You Know Waxed Cardboard?

We have said that waxed cardboard isn’t suitable for recycling. Let’s know about this specific type of cardboard. This particular cardboard finds applications in supermarkets, restaurants, and other foodservice businesses. For example, it is used for ice-packed products and meat. This cardboard contains wax which protects it from becoming soggy and breaking down. This feature is helpful, but it makes the cardboard unacceptable for recycling. However, this cardboard can be composted or used to make other products.

Both cardboard and corrugated materials are excessively used all around the globe, especially in the warehouse and shipping industry. However, unlike other regular materials, they come with a 100% recycling capability specialty that no one can ignore. In this age where rising waste piles and air pollution have become a peril for society, recycling is critically important. It opens up new realms of prospects when it comes to curtailing the soil, air, and many other types of pollution. Recycling is also a great check against the mounting levels of greenhouse gases. Apart from that, it has a vital role in uplifting the economy of the USA by preserving resources and creating more job opportunities for the locals. Here, we will cover a few advantages of recycling that justify your approach to giving a second life to these materials.

Mitigate the amount of pollution:

Too much use of cardboard and corrugated materials in several industries means that people do not know what to do with them after usage. If you do not know, people lay off these materials as waste. There are two options after that, either you can dispose of them or tap their potential of excellent recyclability. Putting them into recycling bins is probably a better option. However, the former may cost you a reasonable sum of money and other resources.

Other than this, newer manufacturing of these materials means that you will require more pulp from wine trees. This practice is harmful to the atmosphere as it leads to the generation of toxic gases like Sulphur dioxide. These gases cause acid rain, detrimental to soil and aquatic life. So, preferring the less costly recycling option is influential in mitigating soil and air pollution by a significant margin.

A significant step against deforestation:

Deforestation is the purposeful cutting of natural forests for meeting several needs. Several trees are cut down annually to manufacture and process the materials like corrugated and cardboard. As per a recent report, one tonne of these materials means cutting 24 trees. Deforestation has become a great menace of recent times that poses a threat to the natural habitat and ecosystem. Recycling presents an excellent prospect for decreasing the rate of deforestation to a significant extent. One can save almost 17 trees by recycling just 1 tonne of these organic materials. More trees mean more fresh air or oxygen in the atmosphere. So, recycling is indispensable to maintaining a stable atmosphere for wildlife and human beings.

Conservation of energy resources:

Both renewable and non-renewable energy resources are depleting at a much rapid pace. If this continues, the day is no longer away when there will be no life. For example, processing the cardboard variants consumes a lot of energy, but you can preserve it efficiently with the recycling practice. According to an estimate, recycling 1 tonne of these materials is essential to save almost 1440 liters of oil and 4000 KW electricity. Saving resources on such a vast level means that one can leverage them for the wellbeing of the economy.

Curtail greenhouse gases:

After serving the purpose, the cardboard variants often end up in landfills. During the process of breaking them down, some harmful gases are produced. Methane, a greenhouse gas, is a fine example of causing global warming. The rising effects of global warming are causing extreme weather, more wildfires, and climate change affecting the natural habitat of the ecosystem. Recycling these materials goes a long way in mitigating the chance of greenhouse gas production. In this reprocessing, there is no production of carbon and methane, which cause climate change by trapping heat.

Promote the local jobs:

Recycling is not just about putting discarded or used material in the green bins. It is an extensive process that involves collecting, sorting, processing, logistics, documentation, etc. People often think of this process as robotic, but in reality, it is not. Instead, it would help if you had a larger man-force to carry out several processes during the whole recycling process. Locals are often the go-to choice of larger companies that have set the recycling units and facilities. So, this practice helps create more and more local job openings, which allow the economies to prosper and increase.

Landfill space gets restored:

A cursory look at our surroundings reveals that a lot of municipal waste poses a threat to atmospheric stability. Of all this municipal waste, cardboard, and corrugated materials, dumping contributes 40 percent. Their recycling serves a great deal in decreasing these ever-mounting piles of garbage in the landfills. As per the studies of experts, recycling 1 tonne of cardboard variants saves almost 10 cubic yards of landfill space. Therefore, it is best to promote a clean and healthy atmosphere.

Support water conservation:

The processing of organic materials from the wood pulp involves a lot of water intake. Since the recycled content has already passed through this stage, water consumption is much lower than in the former. The reprocessing of these materials is a fine prospect to save almost 80 percent more water than virgin paper's standard processing. Recycling 1 tonne of these materials is powerful enough to save nearly 25 thousand liters of water. Lesser water intake during reprocessing means you will preserve more of it for the consumption of living beings.

Recycling cardboard and corrugated materials is the reprocessing of thick and hard multidimensional sheets of paper used, discarded, or wasted. Doing so has unique benefits such as preservations of precious resources, a decrease in land waste and pollution, and making this planet suitable for living. Furthermore, some monetary gifts are also waiting for the recyclers as large companies can save colossal waste disposal costs. Moreover, the labor-intensive nature of this job consequently results in the promotion of local jobs that help the economies grow and prosper more.

We have described different reasons that have made the recycling of cardboard essential. We have also discussed the process of recycling. We have come to know that recycling cardboard can help to reduce pollution and make the environment healthy. In addition, it can reduce greenhouse gases. This is the best practice to conserve energy, trees, and wildlife by preventing deforestation.

It would help if you recycled corrugated and cardboard to reduce the amount of waste. Here we will explain why it is essential to recycle them and how to recycle them.

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