5 reasons why recycling cardboard is important
Written by Emmanuelle Gammage
Cardboard is everywhere – when we buy cereal, a new pair of shoes, furniture or when we send a parcel. It’s so normal that many of us have never stopped to think how it’s made. Cardboard is made through the kraft process: trees are stripped for their bark to be made into woodchips which are then made into pulp. The pulp is spread out and pressed on large flat screens to remove any water and produce paper. Two flat layers of paper are then glued on either side of another sheet of paper that has been corrugated to create additional strength.
We all know that recycling is a good thing: it reduces the need for limited natural resources by reusing existing materials. But recycling cardboard is important for an array of other reasons too…
- Reduces landfill – which has many benefits! Landfill releases methane and CO2 into the atmosphere and many traces of toxic substances like arsenic and mercury end up in our soil and groundwater which contaminates our earth. What’s more, waste in landfill takes thousands of years to break down and during that process, pollution is released into the air. So by recycling cardboard, you’re reducing landfill and toxins.
- Reduces deforestation – around 55% of all cardboard is made by cutting down trees. Recycling one tonne of cardboard would save 17 trees, 1,440 litres of oil, 2.3 cubic meters of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 26,500 litres of water.
- Preserves energy – as the above statistics indicate, producing and transporting cardboard uses a tremendous amount of energy. Reusing cardboard means saving materials and reduces the kraft process.
- Reduces methane – The decomposition of cardboard releases this powerful greenhouse gas that harms our environment, by contributing to climate change. Cows are frequently blamed for releasing methane but humans are the main source: more than 25% of global warming is caused by man-made emissions.
- Creates job opportunities – recycling isn’t just about filling up your green bin and it magically disappearing: the waste needs collecting, sorting, processing and people needed to document the admin and sales data.
Cardboard can be recycled several times without affecting its durability so when you recycle your cereal and shoe boxes again and again, you’re helping to save the planet each time.
One response to “5 reasons why recycling cardboard is important”
I like that you pointed out how you would reduce landfills and toxins by recycling cardboard. We have quite a lot of cardboard in our storage shed and I think it would not be good to just dispose of them. So with that in mind, I am thinking of asking for a corrugated recycling service.