Understanding the Process of Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard is one of the most important packaging materials businesses use today. The widespread use of cardboard has caused the need for cardboard recycling services. Paper manufacturers produce billions of tons of cardboard each year, making it essential to implement sustainable recycling methods. Learn about the process that cardboard goes through for recycling. 


The first step in the cardboard recycling process is collection. The cardboard is collected from various sources like businesses, households, and industries and taken to the recycling center. Upon arrival at the recycling center, the cardboard is sorted to separate contaminated from non-contaminated cardboard. Recycling centers cannot accept any cardboard with food, grease, or harmful chemicals for recycling.


The second step involves baling the cardboard. The cardboard goes through a baler where the sheets are compressed into large bales for easier shipping to paper mills. The baling process is crucial as it increases the tonnage of the cardboard, making it more compact for safe transportation.


The third step is pulping. At the paper mill, the baled cardboard is placed in a pulping machine that breaks it down into small fibers. The machine washes and mixes the tiny fibers to extract ink, glue, and other contaminants. A pulp mixture forms from the fibers and water. It is poured onto a moving screen that filters out any remaining contaminants.


The fourth step in the process is de-inking. This step bleaches the pulp mixture to get rid of any ink left in the fibers. The pulp mixes with chemicals that remove any coloring, and an oxygen-based solution removes any ink residue. The de-inking process helps return the cardboard to its natural color.

Forming and Finishing 

The clean pulp mixture is poured into a paper-making machine and passed through rollers to form new sheets of cardboard. The sheets are then cut into specific sizes and shapes and finished with different coatings or colors depending on the desired end-use. The recycled cardboard can be used to make various products such as cardboard boxes and packing materials.

Sustainable practices such as cardboard recycling services can help save the environment. Cardboard recycling has become more accessible and essential than ever, given the vast amounts produced worldwide. By understanding the steps of cardboard recycling, businesses, and individuals can do their part in preserving the environment and promoting sustainable practices. You can conserve resources for a more sustainable future by supporting recycling services. 

To learn more about cardboard recycling services, contact a company near you.