Corrugated cardboard is the most sustainable choice when it comes to packaging needs for manufacturers. Data shows that 96 percent of all corrugated product in the US was recovered annually for recycling, with the average corrugated box consisting of 50 percent recycled content. This is in sharp contrast to the packaging recovery and recycling rate of other packaging, such as plastic. According to National Geographic, single-use plastics today account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year.
Right now, a giant patch of the Pacific Ocean is filled with plastic debris that will persist for hundreds of years. With the rise of online shopping and associated backlash against less bio-friendly packaging options in the present, it appears that the average consumer is much more aware of packaging and the importance of sustainability than ever before.
To fully understand why corrugated cardboard is the most sustainable packaging material, it’s important to understand the circular economy. We’d like to explain the idea of a circular economy and the important role it plays in sustainability for manufacturers.
What is a Circular Economy?
In a circular economy, materials are produced in a way that allows them to be reused and recycled, rather than used and discarded as seen in a linear economy model. The idea is that waste can be reduced if thought is put into sustainable material designs that enable them to be recovered, recycled, and reused well. In comparison, plastic bags and food wrappers have a short lifespan.
Companies and retailers that make consumer product goods (CPGs) can do their part to participate in a circular economy in a few ways. For example, they can ensure products are shipped in corrugated or recyclable packaging. Some other ways that retailers and companies can show their commitment to a circular economy and the environment initiative include:
- Marking boxes with the Corrugated Recycles symbol
- Encouraging consumers to separate packaging for recycling
- Purchasing boxes that are the right size for their product
On Demand Packaging Helps the Cause
Packsize shows its commitment to a circular economy through the use of their z-Fold®, a continuous corrugated material that can be cut and creased into an infinite number of box styles and sizes for products of different specifications. z-Fold consists of 97% recyclable corrugated material and has a host of advantages when compared to other packaging methods. For example, Packsize customers eliminate their box inventory and exchange it for a few widths of z-Fold. Packsize engineers analyze products shipped and the boxes needed to make recommendations on the z-Fold widths and grades you will need to minimize the amount of trim waste and packaging spend. Because that z-Fold is fed through On Demand Packaging® machines, it will be converted to the exact size box needed, reducing the total amount of corrugated used. The leftover corrugated is then recycled—therefore going back into the circular economy. In addition, smaller boxes made with z-Fold help minimize void filler usage by an average of 50%, allowing for a drastic reduction in the amount of unsustainable plastic packaging used.
By using z-Fold and other sustainable packaging materials, Packsize customers participate in the circular economy and help do their part to ensure future generations have a beautiful planet to live on. If you would like to learn more about how Packsize’s mission is tied to sustainability, click here to watch our short film detailing why Packsize was founded.