5 reasons that corrugated plastic is greener than cardboard

on March 10, 2015

corrugatedhomeplasticThe debate over which is more environmentally friendly; paper or cardboard still continues with users and fabricators of both materials making continuous progress in reducing its environmental impact.   Packnet uses both fiber corrugated and corrugated plastic in its custom engineered solutions.  Environmental impact is a major consideration for Packnet when selecting or recommending material sets for a packaging solution.   The best solution is not always one or the other, but the following are 5 reasons that corrugated plastic may be a more environmentally friendly packaging solution than a paper based material such as fiber corrugated:

  1. Paper mills are some of the largest consumers of energy and water in the world. The process to fabricate paper from wood uses chlorine based bleaches that result in toxic emissions to air, water and soil.
  2. Corrugated plastic is durable enough to be reusable, most cardboard packages are not. Some well constructed corrugated containers can be used dozens of times, which dramatically reduces the consumption of raw materials for packaging.
  3. According to an article published in EBN The recovery rate for old corrugated plastic containers is better than 85%, estimates from 1800recycling.com has cardboard packaging with a recovery rate of 80%.[source: http://1800recycling.com/2013/05/cd-recycling-cardboard]
  4. Some people assume that paper is very biodegradable while plastic is not, but the EPA has stated that in landfills, paper doesn’t degrade all that much faster than plastic. [source: howstuffwordks.com]
  5. It takes about 91% more energy to recycle a pound of paper than a pound of plastic. [Source: howstuffwordks.com]

Corrugated plastic often results in a cost reduction for your packaging solution because of its reusability.  Packnet has a full array of in-house capabilities for manufacturing packaging solutions with corrugated plastic.   These capabilities include die cutting, water jet cutting, CNC knife cutting, scoring, routing, riveting, sonic welding, adhesive bonding as well as attaching a variety of hardware such as snaps, handles, latches, straps and buckles.   These capabilities combined with the utility of corrugated plastic allow us to create highly functional, environmentally friendly and cost effective solutions for our clients. More information on corrugated plastic.