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Corrugated packaging is fully recyclable and is made from a natural and renewable resource. The sustainability of the forestry resource is assured by both commercial and environmental considerations.
In fact forestry management and replanting programmes were in place long before environmental issues gained prominence. In part of Europe and America forest growth rate exceeds that of felling by more than 2 to 1. This ensures future supply and secondly young trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen, reversing the 'greenhouse effect'. In America almost one third of the United States is covered by forests. The reality is that hardwoods produced from the endangered tropical forests of the world are unsuitable for the manufacturing of paper.
Corrugated packaging is fully biodegradable and 100% recycleable. In fact over 70% of all corrugated is collected and recycled. Generally corrugated board is one of the more easily recycled materials. Waste corrugated may be recycled over 5 times before its fibre becomes too weak for further use.
1. Wood for paper production is from sustainable sources
2. The wood is pulped in a paper mill...
3. Huge reels of paper are produced from new and recycled sources...
4. And used to make corrugated packaging
5. Corrugated packaging protects goods in transit
6. Some packaging is recycled as energy
7. The used packaging is collected from stores
8. Most of the used packaging is recycled to make new packaging
Packaging Waste Legislation
In Britain we have recently seen the introduction of Producer Responsibility Obligations (packaging waste) legislation. This legislation is all part of the pan European drive for packaging waste minimisation. This attempts to reduce the sheer volume of packaging being used and then entering the waste channels. The regulations are both complex and demanding on both the producer and consumer of packaging. The legislation does however have clear and specific recovery target for the recycling of various forms of packaging.
A Century of continuous innovations and adaptation to the changing world
The production of corrugated packaging has showed rapid growth. It has accompanied the industrial revolution and has responded to the steady demand for more transit packaging. Corrugated production closely follows economic activity and has over the years shown dramatic worldwide growth.
Today it adapts to the constant evolution of the retail trade and its continually changing logistic requirements. Many changes have occurred and remarkable progress has been made in the improvement of raw materials, in the equipment, in the production processes and the printing techniques of corrugated packaging as well as environmental concerns.
In the last decade, the new printing techniques probably brought the biggest changes. The changing role of packaging from logistics to marketing functions, the use of bar codes for product identification have required improving the quality of graphics on corrugated packaging. Small flutes and high quality paper give a very high standard of graphics which offer new prospects in end-use markets.
Many driving forces will influence the future development of the corrugated packaging industry. The corrugated box is no longer just a form of product packaging. Corrugated packaging is one element in the efficient supply chain management. Consumers' attitudes, the environment legislation and information technology will all have an influence on this industry in the future.
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