Published 6th of July 2021

The best way to reduce your business impact on the environment is to reduce the use of items and recycle when possible. Cardboard is one of the easiest materials to recycle and originates from paper, which can be collected and recycled easily to create a circular economy.

How is cardboard made?

It’s important to understand that the key raw material in cardboard boxes is paper, which comes from trees. A combination of two sheets of paper called liners are glued together with an adhesive to a corrugated inner medium otherwise called a fluting. Three layers are assembled to create a robust structure.

How should I prepare my cardboard waste before recycling it?

After you use your cardboard, it should be broken down, tape and stickers removed and placed in a dedicated recycling bin. The bins should be placed in an easy to reach communal space for all staff with clearly marked signs, so the waste doesn’t get contaminated.

How to recycle your commercial cardboard waste?

Contact a shredding provider or recycling company just like ourselves to help manage and recycle your cardboard waste. Shredall SDS Group can provide storage for your cardboard and arrange regular or one-off collections. We can collect your cardboard waste from your premises and shred it at our depot, where it is baled.

How is cardboard recycled?

Once it’s baled, the cardboard is sent to a recycling mill where it’s mixed with water and chemicals which further break down the fibres to create a slurry. The mixture then goes through a filtering process that removes contaminants like string, glue, or tape. The mixture then gets mixed with additional chemicals to remove any dyes or ink to prepare for the final recycling step.

The final step entails the mixture being blended with new materials and put on a plat conveyor belt to dry. A machine presses out the excess water as it dries and the formation process of the layers for reuse begins.

This process can be repeated, cardboard is recycled again and again creating a circular sustainable economy.

Five cardboard recycling facts

  • 40% of municipal waste sent to landfill is cardboard waste.
  • Approximately one ton of recycled cardboard saves 12 to 31 trees.
  • Recycled cardboard remains the same quality as new cardboard. It does not lose durability or resistance.
  • Recycling paper-derived products saves 80% of water compared to the production from virgin materials.
  • Recycling cardboard only requires 75% of the energy required to make new cardboard from virgin materials.