Recycled Paper and Waste Management
Used corrugated shipping boxes seem to have an incredible amount of applications and appearances in their afterlife under new shapes, styles and even colors. The latter is the most challenging – as boxes and paper age and are recycled, the amount of dirt, adhesive, ink traces and other contaminants in the recycled pulp increases and paper quality deteriorates. This can be amended in a few ways, mainly by adding bleach or other environmentally friendly bleaching agents to improve printing. Nevertheless, recycled cardboard is a popular and solid common material for the manufacturing of a number of items.
The envelope pictured below is a perfect specimen of pure recycling at its best. The A1 shape is according to ISO 216 where A4 is the typical legal size letter almost identical to the almighty 8.5×11 inches used in the US. This recycled envelope was used to ship a book purchased online and did the job in an excellent fashion. The book was small and light so this was a perfect example of a load well matched up with its shipping container – in this case the corrugated envelope.
Another famous coffee shop chain retailer also appears to be aligned right with recent environmental trends. They use napkins made of recycled paper. The unique approach here is that the napkins themselves (pictured) are calling for a more consistent and reasonable use in order to save trees and ultimately the planet. While before such slogans seemed like pure hypocrisy and a bad taste of corporate marketing, this has now almost become mainstream. Senior management of these companies have actually seen environmental damages and really have come to terms with our surroundings. What is more, manufacturing processes have been cleaned up and loose ends filled to ensure almost uninterruptable and waste-less production cycles as related to wood chips and crops used for papermaking for example. A similar approach is taken by companies in the particleboard industry who actually utilize saw dust and spruce chips to make their product and feed their own production leftovers right back into their conveyor belt lines. This to a large extent has taken some weight off local waste management companies who have to be rather ingenious in finding alternatives to expensive curbside comingled trash and recycled content collection at some reasonable cost.