Cardboard Boxes and their effects on the environment

Published: 22nd August 2008
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Cardboard boxes are extremely easy to recycle and minimise their effects on the environment. The best form of recycling is reuse, often once the cardboard box has finished its job of successfully transporting its contents to its destination it is still very solid and more than capable of transporting another item somewhere else. Recycling your old cardboard boxes this way may even help you recoup some of your original costs of buying the cardboard box if you can sell it on as a second hand box.
If your cardboard boxes cannot be sold on, given away or are damaged beyond use then you can still help the environment by recycling. Most local authorities have schemes to collect cardboard and recycle the cardboard boxes, alternatively you can take your cardboard boxes to a local recycling bank. If you collect your cardboard to recycle in cardboard boxes then you will not have to separate it later. For large companies wanting to recycle cardboard boxes there are companies that will collect containers full of cardboard boxes and pay you for them. The corrugated cardboard companies then use these recycled cardboard boxes as the input fibre instead of new trees and currently in the UK get over 70% of their 2 million tonnes of fibre for making new cardboard boxes this way. For the other 30% of fibre needed, fast growing softwood trees that are being planted faster than they are being used are used from sustainable forestry resources. Cardboard boxes are made from corrugated cardboard which in turn is made from paper. Paper is the only packaging material manufactured from a renewable source.
The last but most important part of this cycle of recycled cardboard boxes is you the buyer. Without people willing to buy recycled cardboard boxes it would just end up in landfill. So make sure when you next buy cardboard boxes you ask for recycled cardboard boxes.

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