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Packaging with Purpose: How Corrugated Materials Protect Both Products and the Planet

Sustainable business practices have become an essential part of doing business and being an ethical consumer. Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, is a great reminder of the importance of ongoing efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. 

When it comes to packaging options, eco-conscious customers and businesses can feel confident about corrugated or plant-based packaging. Corrugated packaging is made from natural materials, produces less waste than synthetic packaging and can be recycled repeatedly. 

Let’s unpack the many ways that the production of corrugated packaging promotes recycling and green business practices.

  1. Conservation of Natural Resources: Corrugated board is made from 70% to 100% recycled content, greatly reducing the demand for virgin fibers sourced from trees. This process helps to conserve forests and natural habitats, as well as preserve biodiversity. Additionally, it reduces the environmental impact associated with logging and deforestation. Due to the success of forest conservation efforts and improved recycling, the United States has 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration more than 40 years ago. (Fibre Box Association)

  2. Sustainable Forest Partnerships: Corrugated manufacturers obtain virgin fibers for production through vetted processes that support sustainable forest initiatives. For example, Peachtree Packaging & Display is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and holds an SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard. The SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard is an accounting system that tracks forest fiber from production and manufacturing to the end product. SFI is an independent, non-profit organization that works with the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, governments, and universities to promote sustainable forests.

  3. Waste Reduction: Recent statistics reveal that an impressive 93% of corrugated packaging is recovered for recycling in the United States alone. Incorporating recycled content into corrugated packaging diverts waste from landfills and promotes a circular economy. Instead of disposing of used paper products, they are collected, processed, and reintroduced into the manufacturing cycle. This process reduces the amount of waste generated and helps to extend the lifespan of valuable materials. Learn more

  4. Promotion of Recycling Infrastructure: The demand for recycled material in corrugated packaging helps to support and strengthen recycling infrastructure. It benefits communities by creating jobs and improving waste management practices. It also incentivizes investment in recycling facilities, collection systems, and processing technologies in the United States and around the world. In 2022, the United States used 50 million tons of recycled paper domestically and exported 16 million tons worldwide (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries).

Overall, the use of recycled material in corrugated packaging is a win-win for both businesses and the planet. By choosing corrugated packaging with high recycled content, companies can demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability and contribute to building a greener future.

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