Packaging & the Environment - Corrugated Cardboard
Eco-friendly products are currently in high demand. Consumers are very much aware of the need for products which can be reduced, re-used or recycled. This even goes as far as the packaging materials in which the product arrives. Many traditional packaging materials are not eco-friendly, such as polystyrene loosefill or plastic blister packs, but many of these products have alternatives which would achieve the same results, whilst keeping costs to a minimum. As suppliers, more attention needs to be paid to sourcing packaging which is much more 'ecologically sound'.
Corrugated cardboard is used as one of the most fundamental items in packaging, the humble cardboard box. Used extensively throughout the world, cardboard boxes or cartons are the backbone of most transit packaging. Corrugated cardboard may at first seem like a very bad resource for use in eco-friendly packaging materials, (destruction of forests, destroying eco-systems) but this is not strictly true, as many of the paper based materials in use are cut from sustainable woodlands. Aside from this, there are other benefits to using corrugated cardboard packaging.
All cardboard boxes can be reused & recycled. This means that less resources are used in the future, as recycled corrugated cardboard can be used in making further cardboard boxes, and re-use of boxes ensures maximum life-span of the original materials. Although many corrugated cardboard boxes are not usually 100% recycled, (70-90% on average), it is possible to purchase boxes which are entirely made from recycled corrugated cardboard.
It is not just the corrugated boxes which can be made of recycled materials but also inserts for these boxes., such as those used to hold wine bottles in place or specialist die-cut inserts.
Boxes are not the only product made from corrugated cardboard. Single-face corrugated paper rolls, corrugated mailing wraps, shredded kraft papers & corrugated sheet-board made from 100% recycled materials can all be purchased.
The incentive to use recycled corrugated cardboard packaging materials is due to a number of factors. These include the reduced cost of packaging materials, (as recycled materials generally cost less than virgin materials), & the opening up of further demographic markets, as many consumers will base their purchasing habits on how eco-friendly a product appears to be, including the packaging materials products are despatched in.
It is no longer just good enough to provide a quality product at an affordable price. It must be considered just how eco-friendly your product is, including any packaging materials which are involved. If this is over-looked, then be prepared to pay in lost sales & lost customers.