line decor
line decor

Bookmark and Share Print this Page Print this page Email this Page Email this Page

corrugated manufacturing


The corrugated industry is proud of its record for recycling - over 70% of the fibreboard produced each year is made from recycled fibres.


Collection of corrugated packaging for recycling


Corrugated board is not made from tropical forest hardwoods - they are entirely unsuitable for the process. In fact the industry uses fast-growing softwoods, which are being replanted faster than they are being used.

Corrugated packaging is a reusable material made from a renewable resource.

As the world’s population expands, so does the demand for packaging but due to innovation and efficiency in packaging, it is increasing at a slower rate than the population. The urgent need is for packaging that has the least harmful impact on the planet. Of course, it will also have to be economic to use.Corrugated packaging provides the balanced solution. The industry has always invested large sums in recovery and recycling processes. It is now so effective that, in the UK alone, 84% of the 2 million tonnes of fibreboard produced each year is recycled into new packaging. A far higher percentage than any other packaging material. The industry aleady exceeds recycling targets for years to come.

But what makes corrugated packaging superior to any other material is its recyclable nature? Surveys reveal that it is favoured above anything else by environmentalists and consumers.

Corrugated packaging is made exclusively from sustainable forestry resources. The 30 per cent of paper that is made from wood sources such as thinnings (the natural waste product of good forest husbandry) only comes from farmed forests and paper manufacturers are replanting trees faster than they are being consumed. Typically, fast growing softwoods such as pine and spruce are used. Tropical forest hardwoods are unsuitable for packaging papers.

Huge investment in advanced technology means the processes for manufacturing corrugated board are increasingly energy efficient and satisfy the most stringent equirements of environmental legislation. And the industry continues to search for even lower emissions and energy efficiency.

The corrugated packaging industry is proving that environmental concerns and economic packaging are not incompatible. Bigger savings are not made at a cost to the planet. This is because corrugated packaging does not destroy forests, does not use tropical forest hardwoods and does not pollute the atmosphere.

Achieving environmental compliance can produce a healthy profit. Apart from ensuring the long term availability of raw material, recent advances have reduced manufacturing costs, packing and distribution costs and led to easier recycling and waste disposal processes. The industry continues to look at packaging that has a lower environmental impact through the development of single piece, lower weight cases.

Corrugated packaging is made from paper, the only packaging material manufactured from a renewable source. The paper cycle will continue in perpetuity provided the harvest of timber does not exceed forest growth and that new trees are planted.

Scandinavia is one of the major sources of wood pulp for paper. In Sweden forest growth or replanting exceeds annual felling by up to 35%. One of Europe’s leading manufacturers of corrugated packaging owns large expanses of forestland there. Its ecological policies demonstrate how the industry takes responsibility for ensuring the perpetuity of its raw materials. One of the main priorities is to preserve the bio-diversity in the forests through ecological landscape planning and logging practices. Seed trees are left on around 45% of the forestland, with 12% in combination with planting. These practices and their effects are regularly monitored through ecological audits.

Producing stronger, lighter material is not only an engineering and cost issue, it is an environmental one too. Major producers of corrugated packaging across Europe now use the latest CAD/CAM technology to produce better-engineered solutions and the star is the single-piece, mono-material, die cut, machine-erectable package.

This is an area where the ingenuity of European companies is taking the world lead. The associations of corrugated case makers recently demonstrated that the average weight of corrugated board is lower in Europe than either USA or Asia. Within Europe, the UK consistently has the lowest average board weight.





......© Confederation of Paper Industries, 1 Rivenhall Road, Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 7BD