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Boxes – Made From Recycled Content Or From New Pulp?

by Jim Stalker April 21, 2021

Boxes – Made From Recycled Content Or From New Pulp?

In these “Green” environmental times, it seems as if everyone is interested in doing their part to conserve, reuse and recycle.  This applies to the corrugated box industry as well, so if your organization uses corrugated boxes, there are some important things you should know about the pros & cons of recycled corrugated board.

The advantages of recycled corrugated are fairly obvious.  Most businesses today are extremely concerned with lowering their negative effect on the environment.  They want to control costs, and be recognized as being socially responsible.  “Going Green” just seems like the right thing to do.

So why doesn’t everyone buy into the recycled box movement? 

  • Believe it or not, there are a number of potential drawbacks to recycled boxes.  As a rule they don’t tend to look as clean- in most cases, they have a lot more “flecks” of fiber throughout the box. 
  • Not only that but the printing on them tends to look more faded or in some cases jagged or uneven if you look closely enough. 
  • Boxes made from recycled paper also tend to warp more easily, particularly in environments with high humidity. 
  • Another common complaint is that tape and labels generally don’t stick or adhere as well to the recycled paper either.  This can obviously be a problem if labels containing important information fall off, or if the box doesn’t stay closed properly. 
  • One last negative point is that in most cases recycled boxes cost somewhere between 5-10% more than boxes constructed from virgin linerboard.  The reason for this cost difference is that the reclamation process used to make recycled linerboard is more expensive than the simple process of just chopping down new trees and starting from scratch!  Cost is often king in today’s economy so that can be a real deal breaker for a lot of organizations. 

So depending on what your requirements and needs are, boxes made from recycled content may be an ideal solution for your organization as long as you understand the possible downsides.

 

Jim Stalker
Jim Stalker


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