Corrugated Packaging Circularity Oct. 15, 2020

Food Waste 4 Corrugated Card

Bobby Stearman Circularity 0 Comments

Cardboard boxes are useful for a lot of things: moving house, sending parcels and (our personal favourite) making rockets and robots.

And it’s a good job they’re so useful, too. With most of the world being locked at home for almost the whole of 2020, it’s not surprising that the use of cardboard packaging has increased substantially. Some online retailers go as far as to double box many of their products, which is totally insane if you consider the impact that all the additional cardboard waste has on the environment.

We all know that cardboard can be recycled – or at least we’d certainly like to think that our readers do – and many people nowadays are making a conscious effort to ensure that they’re putting their cardboard waste in the right bins.

But, with mounting pressure on businesses and individuals to do their fair share when it comes to actively recycling, some organisations are taking their responsibility particularly seriously and going one step further in a bid to reduce their waste.

Please welcome: Circularity, the Cardboard Edition.

Cardboard is biodegradable and recyclable, so it’s reasonable to expect that the chance of it being recycled is high. But, just because the materials that go into cardboard recycling are eco-friendly, it’s easy to forget that the other aspects of the process that go into turning one old, battered rocket box into a nice, new, cardboard box to package your food in, can be less kind to the environment.

That is, until now.

Corrugated Packaging Circularity
Circularity, the Carboard Edition

You know we’re quite keen on recycling in every capacity, but this is big - and we mean big - news, even for us. And, bearing in mind that we’re immersed in the waste industry on a daily basis (drowning, in fact), it’s very rare that something really gets us jumping for joy when it comes to news and innovation.

However, what if we told you that we’ve teamed up with some pretty cracking companies who have come together to provide a totally unique circular economy service to UK businesses? Sorry; there was a lot of jargon there. When we say “circular economy service”, what we mean is a completely environmentally friendly waste management eco-system.

Corrboard UK is a corrugated sheet manufacturer that has commissioned a new food waste plant at its site in Scunthorpe. This new site, called Corrboard Bioenergy, receives food waste from UK businesses and then processes it using Anaerobic Digestion.

“What’s Anaerobic Digestion, oh Waste-Knowledgeable One?”

We thought you might ask that. Don’t worry, we’ve got you!

Anaerobic Digestion breaks down the food waste to produce a nutrient-rich biofertilizer which is then used by local farmers for their crops. Pretty cool (if not a little bit gross), right? But the hard work doesn’t stop there: the food waste plant also produces renewable energy in the form of biogas, which is then used by Corrboard UK to produce new corrugated sheets. It’s all a little bit clever if you ask us.

And, if you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, Corrboard aren’t the only ones making best use of this innovative process. Swanline Group and McLaren Packaging are two other businesses who are wading in on the action, by using Corrboard’s carbon-neutral corrugated board to produce their own packaging.

Still wondering where Mercorr comes into all this? We are here to help businesses direct their food waste towards Corrboard Bioenergy and help those same businesses to buy new food packaging that has been produced using carbon-neutral corrugated board.

Nick Kirby, CEO at Swanline, says,

“Achieving a robust circular economy for our packaging customers is the epitome of an already sustainable product. With Mercorr as our waste partner, we have achieved innovation in sustainability and a distinct advantage for anyone wishing to improve their own carbon footprint using their own waste products”

So the food waste makes the energy, which makes the corrugated sheets, which makes the cardboard boxes, which your weekly supermarket items are packaged in, which your kids then turn into rockets. Which you then eventually have to throw out when they’re not looking or it’ll be World War 3 in your house.

Except you don’t throw it out, do you? You recycle it.

To find out how you can get involved with this unique circular economy service and step your game up when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, take a look at our project pages for Swanline Group and McLaren Packaging.


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