7 Cardboard Recycling Facts

Not surprisingly, there are many different uses for cardboard. In fact, over 90% of products in the United States are shipped in corrugated cardboard boxes.

Along with packaging, cardboard is used and reused for a wide variety of things. For example, many people use old cardboard boxes for anything from storage containers to makeshift recycling bins.

On average, a typical household will throw away up to 13,000 pieces of cardboard in a single year. Even more, the average American will use the equivalent of seven trees each year in paper and cardboard products.

As a result, cardboard recycling has emerged as a popular sustainability initiative to dispose of cardboard waste. Some interesting facts have emerged about cardboard use, cardboard recycling programs, and the impact that they have on the environment.

Learn more about recycling cardboard and how you can make a difference with these fascinating cardboard recycling facts.

7 Cardboard Recycling Facts

1. 90% of products are shipped in cardboard.

Cardboard boxes have a variety of uses and are hidden in everyday activities. For example, the sleeve on your morning coffee and the box of your favorite cereal are made of cardboard.

More specifically, these products are made of corrugated cardboard boxes.

More than 90% of products in the United States are shipped in corrugated cardboard boxes. This type of cardboard can actually be recycled up to seven times, making it an ideal reusable choice for a variety of uses.

In addition to single-use cardboard, cardboard is often reused in various settings. For example, many people reuse cardboard boxes for makeshift bins, storage containers, and more. Along with packaging, old cardboard is used and reused for a wide variety of things.

2. Not all cardboard is recyclable.

While you may think all cardboard is recyclable, this isn’t always the case. There are certain limits to what can go in a public recycling bin.

Used pizza boxes and paper coffee cups are just some items that may not be made of recyclable cardboard. To clarify, pizza debris found on pizza boxes — oil and cheese — disrupt the recycling process and contaminate the recycled product. To ensure it is recycled, cardboard must be free of food products.

Recycling education is incredibly important in order to recycle cardboard. In the end, recycling contaminated materials may pollute other materials and cause the entire bin of recyclables to be sent to the landfill.

3. There are several grades of recyclable cardboard.

There are numerous grades of recyclable cardboard, especially for manufacturing and industrial organizations. So, if you’re looking for commercial cardboard recycling solutions, knowing cardboard grades is important.

Some examples of cardboard grades include corrugated cardboard, such as the boxes many products are shipped in, and large thick walled cardboard boxes from various manufacturing operations.

4. There is different equipment required for each grade.

When recycling cardboard in large quantities, there are different types of equipment that may be used to process your waste. Some equipment may be for cardboard collection while other equipment is for processing the cardboard itself.

Some examples of cardboard collection equipment include compactors, vertical balers, and horizontal balers. A baler will compress and flatten your cardboard waste so that it takes up less storage space and is more efficient to ship.

If you’re partnering with a commercial waste collection company, your cardboard may be collected by that company’s roll-off trucks or tractor-trailers. Then, the cardboard is taken to a recycling facility, where it is processed and prepared for shipment to paper mills for use as a raw material.

5. Recycling cardboard can improve the environment.

According to a recent Yale University study, the US has currently reached a recycling level of 24.1%. As we continue in our journey of recycling cardboard and other materials, the US has the potential to positively impact the environment at a 75% recycling level.

Reaching around a 75% recycling level has the same positive impact as removing roughly 55 million cars from the roads. In addition, such a high level of recycling will require an increased number of recycling professionals handling this influx of materials. By improving our recycling efforts, we can protect our environment and produce more job opportunities.

6. Recycled paper is used to create corrugated boxes.

Much of the paper we use today is made from trees or previously recycled paper. But is new paper the only thing made out of this recycled material? The answer is no! Recycled paper actually can be used to make corrugated cardboard boxes that are used across the world. Those boxes are then broken down in a cardboard recycling process and used again and again.

7. Going green isn’t hard with cardboard recycling!

While recycling cardboard may seem like a challenge for your company, it doesn’t have to be!

To make the most of your cardboard waste, you can partner with a commercial waste disposal company, like Generated Materials Recovery. Companies like GMR have in-depth experience with providing manufacturing and unique industrial solutions to achieve their sustainability goals.

All in all, with the expertise of companies like GMR, you can rest assured that your cardboard waste disposal needs will be met.

Wondering how Generated Materials Recovery can help you with your cardboard recycling needs? Contact our team today to learn more about sustainable waste disposal!


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