As we discovered in an earlier post, cardboard boxes are the main container used when it comes to shipping consumer goods. Billions of boxes are made every year and most, estimates range up to 90 percent, of those will get recycled. Due to this massive number, recycling is also a major business. But just how does the recycling of cardboard boxes work? Read on to discover some secrets of the recycling process.


First the raw cardboard and other papers are gathered together in bails. They are then dropped into a machine called a ‘mac pulper’.  The cardboard there is mixed with water, and broken down into a paste. Materials like metal stables and plastics are filtered out of this soggy mass. It takes a many staged process to dry this pulpy material, which along the way will be worked into an ideal consistency for the next step in the process. The ‘noodle’ as this material is now referred to, is then stored until ready to be dropped into the paper-making machines.


In the paper-making machine, the noodle is mixed with chemicals that will lend a degree of water resistance, which is necessary to safeguard goods like fruit and things being shipped in wet conditions. Fire retardant is also added.


The near liquid mass is pumped through a series of pipes, then sprayed onto a rotating cylinder. From there, the water gets pressed out. Water removal is the goal of a series of other processes, which leaves the paper in sheet form, at various thicknesses and widths. The paper is then set through numerous drying presses, as mould is deadly for such a product. Once dried, the final spool of paper, known as a ‘jumbo reel’ can weigh up to six and a half tons. These can be cut down, according to the specifications of the product they will become. The spools are then sent out to manufacturers and places to convert the paper into boxes and other products like plasterboard.


Of course we are also a good source for cardboard boxes, and indeed have a dedicated site for them which you can find here: Cardboard boxes are hugely popular, which is why we pay extra attention to them. Stop by our All in Packaging site to see all our cardboard boxes and more.


Source: Howit’sMade Youtube Channel