Corrugated packaging has long been the choice for manufacturers of a wide range of products. It is made by combining two sheets of paper called liners that are glued to a corrugated inner medium called fluting. These three layers of paper together give the overall structure a better strength than that of each distinct layer. This allows corrugated packaging to support strong weights and maintain considerable rigidity and resistance. The air circulating in the flutes also serves as an insulator which provides excellent protection against temperature variations. Corrugated packaging has been tested widely and proven to be an excellent way to pack, ship, protect and promote products.
Corrugated packaging has been around for over a hundred and fifty years and was initially used as the lining in hats and then as wrapping for delicate items like bottles and glass. Later, corrugated packing boxes were developed and became the widespread medium for shipping a wide variety of consumer and industrial products. Perhaps the most famous and longest standing use of corrugated packing boxes was for cereal, a practice that still continues today. It is seen as a cost-effective and environmentally sound way to ship goods. Mostly because corrugated packaging is so amenable to reuse and recycling.
The best way to help the environment is always to reduce the amount the resources and materials that we use. Luckily, corrugated packaging materials are well suited to help manufacturers and consumers do just that. If we find ways to reuse our corrugated packing boxes for example, then that lessens the requirement to use more pulp fibre and fewer trees to make more cereal boxes. Similarly, if we recycle our used corrugated packing boxes and materials we also allow this material to come back into the production cycle and do not have to take more of our precious natural resources like wood and water that might be needed for completely new packaging material.
Many companies and businesses have a corporate plan that requires their employees to reuse their corrugated packing boxes and other materials wherever and whenever possible. At home, the box that the new stereo came in can be reused or repurposed as a container to store old books or shoes. Large appliance packing boxes like the ones used for refrigerators can become a playhouse and it always good to have an extra supply of corrugated packing boxes on hand in case you or your neighbours are moving, or your kids are heading off to college. One cool way to reuse corrugated packing boxes is to make them your recycling container that can sit near your desk or in your garage until your recycling pick-up day.
Recycling corrugated packing material and boxes is one of the most popular and efficient ways to deal with these items when they have serves their initial purpose. Anyone can do it, from schools to homes to factories to supermarkets. And almost everyone does. Every year, more than 10,000 tonnes of corrugated materials like packing boxes are recycled by the residents of Vancouver. In addition, well over 100, 000 tonnes of corrugated packing materials are recycled by Vancouver area businesses every year. This story is repeated in communities, large and small, every day across North America.
These practices have resulted in one of the real success stories in recycling in Canada. One example of that is that the average amount of recycled material in most corrugated packing boxes has risen to almost 70 percent from just over 20 percent twenty years ago. Another example is that almost 80 percent of corrugated packing boxes and other materials end up in recycling rather than the landfill.