How to effectively recycle cardboard boxes

Gaurav Jalan, founder and director at Packman Packaging shares some tips and tricks to recycle cardboard boxes with the WhatPackaging? Team. Read more..

16 Oct 2023 | By Gaurav Jalan

Gaurav Jalan, founder and director at Packman Packaging talks about cardboard recycling

Recycling cardboard boxes is something everyone can do to help reduce waste and be more environmentally conscious. Cardboard boxes are everywhere, from packaging to your online purchases to packing our belongings when you move. Instead of throwing them, let's see ways to recycle them effectively. Here is a detailed step-by-step process of recycling cardboard.

Collect and Prepare Your Boxes
Begin by collecting your cardboard boxes. You may keep a separate bin or designate a corner in your garage for cardboard recycling. Before throwing them in, make sure to flatten the boxes. This not just saves space but also makes it simpler for recycling centers to handle them. Bear in mind to remove any plastic packaging, tape, or labels from the boxes. These materials may interfere with the recycling process, so it's critical to get rid of them. If your boxes contain food stains or residues, give them a quick clean to prevent contamination.

Find a Recycling Center
Now that you have got your boxes flattened, clean cardboard boxes, this is time to find a place to recycle them. Depending on which place you live, you may have a few options:
Curbside Pickup: Several areas provide curbside cardboard recycling pickup as part of their regular waste management services. Check with your local authorities (country specific) to see if this service is available in your area.
Recycling Drop-Off Locations: If curbside pickup is not an option, look for the nearest recycling drop-off location or recycling facilities. These facilities are usually easy to find, and they are made specifically for cardboard recycling.

Understand the Recycling Procedure
Understanding what happens to the cardboard boxes after you drop them off for recycling will help you appreciate the environmental impact:
Your cardboard boxes are collected and taken to a recycling center. At the center, they are sorted based on type and quality. They get cleaned to remove any ink, glue, or contaminants. Then, they are shredded into small pieces and mixed using water to create a pulp. The pulp is then used to make new cardboard or paper products.

Environmental Benefits of Cardboard Recycling
Recycling cardboard provides several significant environmental benefits like it conserves valuable resources such as trees, water, and energy. Making cardboard from recycled materials uses less of these natural resources than starting from scratch. It also decreases the waste in landfills, which could contribute to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The recycling process consumes less energy contrary to making cardboard from raw materials, resulting in lower carbon emissions. Recycling one ton of cardboard could save around 17 trees, helping us to preserve forests and combat deforestation.

Additional Tips

1. Here are a some more things to consider:

2. Whenever feasible, try to decrease packaging waste by opting for products with minimal packaging or reusable alternatives.

3. Do not limit your recycling efforts to simply cardboard boxes; other paper products such as newspapers and magazines can be recycled too.

4. Encourage your neighbors and community to get involved in cardboard recycling. The more people participate, the broader the impact.

5. Keep yourself informed regarding the local recycling guidelines as they can vary by location.

Recycling cardboard boxes is a straightforward yet effective way to reduce waste and protect the environment. It is a minor step we can all take to make a big difference. So, next time you receive a package or move to a new place, always keep in mind to recycle those cardboard boxes responsibly.

Latest Poll

Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?


Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Bagasse and biodegradable boxes



Corrugated boxes



Paper bags



Recyclable plastic (bubble wraps, bio-plastic)



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