Cardboard is the single largest component of municipal solid waste around the world, thus it becomes necessary for everyone to involve themselves in recycling cardboard. Be it on a small scale at home or on an industrial level where companies change their manufacturing techniques to incorporate cardboard recycling.
The two types of Cardboard Boxes
There are two different types of cardboard that are considered recyclable; the first one is the tangled/ messy kind of cardboard generally seen in packaging materials which is often called corrugated cardboard. The second kind of cardboard is all around us be it cereal boxes, shirt boxes, shoes boxes or maybe frozen stuff, this second kind of cardboard is called flat cardboard or paperboard. Thin cardboard material can be processed with paper since it is a slim cardboard form and is acceptable with paper recycling plants. Cereal boxes would be an ideal example of flat cardboard which can be recycled together with paper. However any cardboard which is thicker in nature should be first flattened out and unfolded before you can send it for recycling, the reason for unfolding the cardboard before recycling is that it is easier to transport and store when it is flattened out since it occupies less space and a large volume can be deposited and transported at the same time.
Some cardboard types are non recyclable like milk cartons are one example because they are wax coated to prevent leakage. If you leave in a community where there is less importance given to recycling then what you can do is talk to the local supermarket and department stores and they can help you out with recycling your cardboard boxes together with their stuff. Almost all stores participate in some kind of commercially accepted environmental program and would definitely help you with your recycling.
Why do we need to recycle cardboard boxes?
Over 85% of all products that are sold in the United States are packed in cardboard. Now multiply that number with all countries
together, that’s a lot of cardboard, being used. Where does all this cardboard come from? It comes from a raw material called pulp which is extracted from trees. Since there are a limited number of trees in the world and we need every last one of them to preserve the oxygen level, reduce the carbon dioxide level and help in the rain formation cycle in the world, it makes sense to try and cut down on the amount of cardboard we use, obviously we cannot stop packing products so the only viable solution left is to reuse the cardboard in the most efficient and cost effective way.
We all know manufacturing is no friend to the environment, every process in the manufacturing of cardboard produces tones of hazardous gasses which are blown in to the air every day, and it is our duty to save the earth for our sack and for the coming generations. By recycling ideally what we are doing is reducing the production process into half, so if they were going to pump out 50tones of hazardous gasses now they will pump out 25tones it is still a lot but recycling definitely helps. Manufacturing companies are adapting greener ways of production which emit less chemical waste so they are doing their part, let’s do ours.
When you have a cardboard box that is either damped by liquids or any other solution or chemical, do not recycle these kinds of cardboard boxes. The reason for not recycling this kind of cardboard is that once they have been damped they tend to release chemicals from the moisture which can be unsafe if they are stored in a compact space for a long time.
Let’s go over some numbers about cardboard recycling:
1) 544,000 trees can be saved every year if every house hold in the united states replaced just one roll of virgin fibre paper towels, which is 70 sheets with 100 percent recycled ones.
2) United Kingdom alone produces more than 7 million tons of cardboard for packaging each year.
3)For every 1 ton of cardboard that we recycle we can save 9 cubic yards of landfill space.
Imagine the number of trees we can save if the whole world recycled there cardboard materials.
The 1st objective with all products, be it packing materials or boxes, coming in to our houses and offices, is to cut the amount of cardboard that we use. Try and buy less produce or products that come wrapped or encased in cardboard. It may be worth checking out manufacturers who use less cardboard in there packing, or informing them that you need to receive products with less nonessential cardboard packaging and inspiring them to scale back the waste. Consumer purchasing power has lots of weight with producers and manufacturer: after we realize this and use our spending power to pressure providers, a lot can be done, especially in the area of cardboard waste prevention. One part of this may be always attempting to find cardboard that obviously shows the ‘cardboard recycling’ trademark. This is a sequence of arrows at right-angles, frequently with a percentage in the middle; this shows the proportion of recycled element in that package, normally a 50/ 50 proportion of new card to recycled fibres is used.
Each and every one of us has a duty towards recycling because this is what will save the earth as we see it today. Parents need to be well versed on the issues of reusing cardboard and also good practices for recycling cardboard. Parents also need to talk to their children about recycling because they are the future. These days all schools, be it private or public have been implementing classes about reducing, reusing and recycling cardboard, electronics and any other stuff that can be recycled or reused. Governments around the world have been taking a positive step towards recycling and educating the mass public about the importance of these issues.
We need to step up and take action. Are you ready to do that?
Be responsible, save the environment.