Corrugated packaging (or cardboard) is one of the most recycled items in the US, reaching an all-time high at 92.2 percent in 2015. And believe it or not, that number could continue to rise.
Cardboard’s typically coated in a waxy substance used as a moisture barrier, both to strengthen the packaging and to preserve the products inside, should they be wet or iced. In the past, wax itself was used, though it made the recycling process more difficult. But as of last October, recyclable alternative coatings surpassed wax for the first time since 2005, when the Fibre Box Association initially published recyclability standards for the industry.
Between 2002 and 2014, total wax usage decreased by 43 percent, says the Corrugated Packaging Alliance. And now that over 47 different wax alternatives have been developed, certified and registered with the FBA, recycling the cardboard used at your commissary is easier than ever.
“Corrugated is the most reliable, cost-effective and sustainable package available for transporting most products, including those requiring moisture protection, such as fresh produce,” said Dennis Colley, executive director of the CPA, when the announcement was made. “Even those boxes can be made with recyclable materials. The continuous decrease in wax coatings means that renewable, recyclable corrugated can be used for even the most demanding applications.”