Thanks to recycling schemes taking hold all over the UK, cardboard recycling takes place in just about every home. Now that it’s easier than ever before, more people are doing their bit for a sustainable planet.
Having just celebrated the festive season and to show our appreciation for the wonderful material that makes gift boxes, Amazon packages and Christmas crackers possible, here are some of our favourite cardboard recycling facts.
A Billion Christmas Cards and Counting
Back in 2004, 744 million Christmas cards were sent in the UK. In 2016, it was estimated that a billion christmas cards were sold (not including from online retailers). If all of those cards were recycled, it could have saved 333,000 trees.
Corrugated Cardboard is the Most Recycled Packaging
84% of all corrugated cardboard is recycled in the UK – that adds up to about 2 million tonnes of the stuff saved from landfill every year! That only counts corrugated card specifically – not other types of card stock which have a significantly lower recycle rate.
Luckily, corrugated card is one of the most widely used packaging materials in the world, so the chances are the next box you get will be made of recycled materials – and then go on to become something else.
You Can’t Recycle Card Forever
After a few passes through the recycling process, paper and card fibres are too short to retain a structure and they wear out. The card recycling process can’t go on forever, which is why we still need to grow and fell trees. But it can reduce wastefulness, conserve energy and cut back on polluting chemicals. And since it’s made from wood pulp, it’s biodegradable anyway – so it’ll still have its uses.
Pizza Boxes Don’t Get Recycled
There’s surely no greater treat than a hot, cheesy pizza delivered to your front door. Just the thought of tucking into a slice of pizza is enough to make anyone change their dinner plans. But popping a used pizza box in your cardboard recycling is actually doing more harm than good.
Why? Well, all the grease from the cheese and toppings on the pizza filters down into the cardboard, making it extremely difficult to clean and reprocess. The fibres lose integrity and can’t be bound back together. And if the grease runs onto other cardboard items, it can ruin a whole binful!
It doesn’t mean you have to waste the box completely. Instead, tear sections off your pizza box for makeshift cardboard plates. It’ll save on washing up, which helps reduce emissions and water usage – and it’s always nice to have a break from the dishes once in a while!
7 Million Tonnes of Cardboard is Wasted to Landfill Yearly
12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK. If you factor in our current UK-wide recycling rate of 45%, we’re committing 7 million tonnes of that to landfill every year – that’s even heavier than the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Recycled Cardboard can Build a House
Peter Ryan from Melbourne, Australia, built a working house almost entirely out of cardboard.
Cardboard is Easier to Recycle than it is to Make
Cardboard is one of the most efficient materials to recycle. Making cardboard from scratch requires not only trees for wood, but also various industrial chemicals and vast amounts of energy.
Making new cardboard products from used cardboard cuts out the need for trees and the majority of the chemical treatment process. Because so much energy is conserved by recycling, cardboard takes far less effort to recycle than it does to make from scratch.
Talk to Aasvogel About Bulk Recycling
Aasvogel does recycling with a difference. With over 20 years of waste management experience, we’re here to deliver you a professional and environmentally-friendly service.
Our fully licensed recycling plant in Wantage, Oxfordshire, is equipped with the latest technology. Our experienced, dedicated team has helped us reach a recycling rate of 95% – and we continue to improve.
To see what difference we can make to you, give us a call on 01235 760555 or contact us.