The uptick in internet shopping is making way for a whole new market and recycling issue. If you think about the products you order online what is the one thing they all have in common? That’s right, cardboard boxes (albeit every once in awhile plastic bags) but, let’s focus on the cardboard or its industry name: Old Corrugated Containers (OCC). Nearly everything ordered on the internet is delivered in these boxes but that’s not the only place they are used. Grocery stores, clothing stores, even technology; Old Corrugated Containers are everywhere.
What happens to all of these empty boxes after the goods are removed?
The US alone uses close to 75 million tons of paper and paperboard material every year and this number is growing due to the evolving world of e-commerce. The good news is that with the enormous growth in use of OCC we are increasing efficiency with our recycling processes as well. In fact, in 2015 the US recovered 92.9 percent of corrugated materials.
A Hopeful Future.
This is great news considering the US uses approximately 68 million trees per year contributing to paper’s title as the highest component of solid waste in landfills. According to the EPA, we save 17 trees for every ton of cardboard we recycle. Advancements in recycling are helping to increase that number through the sorting process. Increased material purity from the recycling process results in a higher percentage of recycled material that can be used to make the boxes.
Who Can Make A Difference?
General Kinematics is dedicated to making this process easier and more efficient with products such as the SXS SCREEN™ for OCC. GK vibratory equipment was developed using specially engineered screens to create the best separation. GK is always working to create cleaner materials in the sorting process but the recycling process starts with you.
How to Recycle OCC.
When recycling your used boxes remember to remove foreign materials like Styrofoam, plastic, and food. Always flatten your boxes and place them in the recycling bin or compactor.