How environmentally friendly is corrugated cardboard?
Since cardboard is biodegradable and recyclable, one would think that it should be the most environmentally friendly packaging material to use. Unfortunately, there are other issues with cardboard.
Corrugated cardboard is made from paper; paper mills are some of the worst polluters in the world. The process to fabricate paper from wood uses chlorine-based bleaches that result in toxic emissions to air water and soil. The pulp and paper industry is the largest single commercial user of water in Canada. Worldwide, the pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy, accounting for four percent of the entire world’s energy use.
Paper accounts for a significant portion of total waste in the US. The goal of 100% of recycling paper is still far from reality as costs and consumer behavior are proving to be major detriments to a comprehensive recycling program.
Plastic certainly has its own issues, it requires a non- renewable material to produce and it is not biodegradable.
Packnet is a strong advocate of reusable packaging systems. We believe that whether you use plastic, paper or some other wood derivative, a system that is indefinitely reusable is the more environmentally friendly solution.