Today’s world faces significant environmental challenges, requiring individuals and businesses to adopt sustainable practices. As far as businesses are concerned, it is no secret that they emit considerable greenhouse gasses through their operations, seriously impacting the planet. Many world-renowned organizations are major polluters, consuming natural resources at a disturbing rate, which can lead to environmental catastrophes.
Modern consumers are concerned with the environment more than ever, especially now that the impact of climate change has become increasingly evident. And since they are adopting eco-friendly practices to protect the planet, they expect companies to do the same. Sustainability isn’t just good for the environment but also your business, as it provides several benefits, including more substantial profits and a better reputation. One great way businesses can make an impactful change is through cardboard recycling. Did you know that seventeen trees are used to produce one ton of cardboard? That’s a lot – and such a significant carbon footprint is harmful to the environment.
As a venture, it’s essential to take responsibility for producing a lot of cardboard waste, which ends up in landfills, leading to the contamination of the Earth and, thus, to pollution. Fortunately, cardboard can be recycled, which means it can be reused around 5-7 times.
Is it possible to recycle all cardboard types?
Corrugated cardboard and gray paperboard are the most common types of cardboard that businesses use for packaging. It is possible to recycle a cardboard fiber up to seven times -but not more, as that would make the paper fibers shorter in the process. Cardboard, whether a box, tube, plate, or paperboard, can be recycled, providing it hasn’t been contaminated.
For example, a pizza box isn’t ideal for recycling because it won’t result in high-quality cardboard in the recycling process. Similarly, it is not advisable to recycle wet cardboard, as the storage machines can become obstructed. The best material to recycle is clean corrugated cardboard, as it is ecological, economical and valuable.
Handling cardboard waste: 5 essential steps to take
Recycling cardboard is a great way to commit to sustainability and fight climate change issues. Implementing an efficient cardboard recycling program saves trees, reduces greenhouse gasses, saves water, and creates job opportunities, thus resulting in economic stability and growth. Here’s how to handle cardboard waste in your company:
Spot cardboard waste sources
There are many ways cardboard waste is generated in your business processes. So, the first step in this process is to identify the main sources responsible for it.
To do so, consider evaluating the different packaging materials you use in your business, as this will help you understand which part of the process is most detrimental to the environment. Once you figure this out, you can move to the next step: collecting the cardboard waste.
Collect the waste together
The 2nd step in the recycling process is to collect the waste to prepare it for shipping and processing. You want to ensure the cardboard waste is fit for recycling, meaning it shouldn’t get damaged.
Moreover, the cardboard boxes should be dry and grease-free, so consider these aspects when gathering boxes for disposal. It is also a good idea to put the cardboard waste into different sets based on the size of the box and the cardboard’s grade.
Involve your employees in the process
Like any other process of your company, employees play a crucial part in ensuring a successful outcome of your recycling program. They can ensure that the waste is effectively sorted and has a good quality.
Therefore, training employees on the best cardboard recycling practices is imperative before beginning the process. Without your team’s involvement, it is unlikely that the process will be effective, only leading to missed opportunities and lost profits. Your leadership team should clearly demonstrate a long-term commitment to sustainability, and this can be done through regular communications with employees where you introduce the topic of recycling (using Slack can be very effective to this end).
Invest in a commercial baler
Cardboard is bulky, so it can occupy a lot of room in the workplace, making it messy and hazardous. Luckily, commercial balers are one of the best solutions when it comes to recycling, and they can be used for textiles, plastics and also for cardboard. Without a doubt, a cardboard baler is an excellent investment, as it saves you space and results in a cleaner – and more enjoyable – work area.
Additionally, a cardboard baler reduces the risk of contamination, translating into a great business benefit, as it can result in higher revenue. But that’s not all – this recycling machine saves you time, as it does the job for you and your team members so that you no longer have to handle so much waste. And since there will be fewer unnecessary journeys, transportation will also be minimized, successfully reducing your environmental impact.
Let professionals do the hard work for you
While implementing a recycling program is paramount, no one can deny that the entire process can be pretty overwhelming and complicated. So, instead of brainstorming ideas for handling your waste yourself, why not work with professionals instead? They can offer the best solutions for your business, giving you peace of mind, as you know that the methods will reduce your company’s environmental impact and that waste will be disposed of at the right sites.
Besides, hiring professionals is a cost-effective way to handle waste in your business, at the same time saving you time and effort.
In a nutshell
Handling cardboard waste is essential for all businesses, given that many industries rely on paper boards and corrugated cardboard for packaging. Even if there is a decrease in the use of cardboard boxes, they won’t likely be eliminated entirely from business operations. Therefore, looking for sustainable solutions to adopt as part of your waste management process becomes essential.
Given cardboard’s impact on the planet, recycling is key in protecting the trees and forests – and if you care about the planet and actively contribute to climate change mitigation, you will reap great benefits for your business.