5 Environmental advantages of corrugated packaging.
By Barry Tabor in Sustainable Packaging on September 21, 2018
With more and more businesses being scrutinized for their environmental impact, it’s more important than ever to turn to responsible packaging choices. When considering shipping options, brands want to know about the environmental effects of the materials they use, along with how they can reduce their carbon footprint.
With eco-friendly solutions in high-demand by consumers, brand owners are aware of the benefits of using more sustainable packaging, such as paper-based corrugated. As ethical shopping has become integral to the purchasing process, customers are now looking to select brands based largely on which ones are making a reasonable effort to be environmentally friendly.
So, if you’re thinking about using corrugated packaging, here’s how it might help your business support responsible sourcing while also considering the environment.
1. Corrugated packaging contains recycled content and is recyclable.
The main ecological advantage of corrugated boxes is that they are made from a high percentage of recycled paper, think cartons or newspaper, and can be recycled again after they have been used. Similarly, most corrugated packaging is made without dyes or bleaches, meaning it can be disposed of more sustainably than other types of material that contain contaminants.
2. Corrugated packaging is renewable.
Manufactured from paper pulp, corrugated packaging is predominately made from timber from fast-growing pine trees but can also be created from woodchips and leftover materials from a range of paper-making processes. Plus, most corrugated packaging is made up of around 70% to 100% of recycled material.
Suppliers that make large amounts of corrugated packaging usually harvest materials from managed, sustainable forests—and replace harvested trees with seedlings to begin the process again.
3. Corrugated packaging is reusable.
Not only is corrugated packaging easily recyclable and renewable, but it can also be reused as is, helping to further reduce packaging costs and the environmental impact. Many corrugated case styles are designed to be easily collapsible, and fully reusable.
Most boxes are not instantly disposed of, so why not make the most of their durability? Corrugated is known for being a solid, sturdy solution that can carry a range of weights—so cases can be used over and over for an array of products.
And when cases reach the end of the line, consumers can still reuse them for storing documents or as floor protectors when redecorating, for example. And, when they are finally done with them, consumers can simply recycle them.
4. Corrugated packaging helps to save energy.
Another benefit of corrugated packaging having a high percentage of recycled components is that it requires less energy to make. Rather than producing cases from 100% virgin materials, most corrugated manufacturers make products from locally sourced recycled content—which also minimizes environmental damage caused by excessive transportation.
5. Corrugated cases offer efficient protection for your products.
Many businesses today are creating right-sized boxes for their products to help cut down on the amount of material waste. Doing so can also go a long way towards helping reduce your business’ carbon emissions when it comes to shipping and transport. Since boxes are usually rectangular—meaning they can easily and neatly stack with little space wasted—it allows businesses to fit more products into a smaller number of vehicles, which makes a huge difference to a company’s carbon footprint.
Barry Tabor is managing director of British Converting Solutions North America LLC, which offers a range of box making machinery to suit various packaging needs. For more than 30 years, BCS has been a leading provider to international businesses, and it won The Queen's Award for Enterprise for international trade in 2016.