Cardboard, Paperboard, Boxes, and More

Stacked CardboardWe don’t give much thought to cardboard in this day and age. We use it for many different things, and many tasks can’t be completed without it. Think about the postal service… Can you imagine what shipping items would be like without cardboard boxes? We’d have to have wooden boxes for most everything!

Cardboard is often under appreciated in our society. We use different variations of cardboard for lots of things. Think about this: we have traditional corrugated cardboard, like that you see in regular brown cardboard boxes, and paperboard, which is a thinner cardboard we use for cereal boxes and foods. Both of these items are widely recycled (woohoo!), except sometimes when contaminated with chemicals or food greases. Imagine what cereal would be like without paperboard boxes. Everything would probably end up in plastic bags!

Stacked BoxesCardboard is an interesting material made by wood fibers in the same way paper is pressed together. Relatively inexpensive and lightweight, cardboard, like other paper, can be recycled up to five or six times. Cardboard is actually on the low end of the recycling hierarchy; when writing paper (or premium quality paper) is recycled, since the fibers are cut shorter, the next item below it to be created with the fibers can be turned to a notepad. When that notepad is recycled, it can be turned into tissues, cardboard, paperboard, or toilet paper. Often times, regular corrugated cardboard boxes can be recycled into paperboard. However, most recycled paper is shipped abroad to China, so you probably won’t see the pizza box you tossed in the recycle bin in any other form. Recycling waste is actually the US’s largest export to China.

The origins of cardboard as we know it today are complicated. Without being so widely known, it’s hard to trace, exactly, where cardboard comes from. It’s thought that the original idea of cardboard began about four thousand years ago during the Han Dynasty in China. Isn’t it interesting to know that we export cardboard to China when they were the original pioneers of the idea? Individuals would use treated sheets of Mulberry tree bark to wrap and preserve foods. As paper items and printing presses became more prevalent, cardboard gradually began to take shape. Originally used to be written on (instead of storage), the first actual documented use of a cardboard box was in 1817 for a German board game.

In 1856, corrugated cardboard came to be when Edward Allen and Edward Healey patented a product in England for pleated paper, which afforded both flexibility and some insulating warmth.  The actual familiar cardboard box shape wasn’t actually created until 1879 by Robert Gair, who owned a paper bag factory. Pre-creased and pre-cut cardboard boxes were soon used by many companies and big time clients around the world.

Curious as to how corrugated cardboard is recycled? Homeguides.com provides a full breakdown of how a cardboard box is turned to new boxes.

Do you do anything special to recycle your waste cardboard? Let us know in the comments below.

Four Hints to Help You Move this Winter

Four Hints to Help You Move this Winter

No matter the season, moving can be a tough chore -- physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are things you can...
Read More
Printable Reasons to Move to New Hampshire

Printable Reasons to Move to New Hampshire

We've talked about why you should move to New Hampshire before, but there are even more great reasons to live...
Read More
Ring in the New Year with a Clean Closet Refresh

Ring in the New Year with a Clean Closet Refresh

If you’re feeling the urge to purge some items from your closet that you no longer use or appreciate, there...
Read More
Things to Know About Storage Units Before Buying One

Things to Know About Storage Units Before Buying One

A storage unit can be a real lifesaver when it comes to moving your belongings or looking for a temporary...
Read More
How to Get Your Glassware There in One Piece

How to Get Your Glassware There in One Piece

One of the toughest parts of moving comes from packing fragile and delicate pieces such as glassware. When you want...
Read More
4 Tips to Help You Prepare to Move with Pets

4 Tips to Help You Prepare to Move with Pets

You’ve likely seen how stressed your pet gets during a thunderstorm. Unexpected loud noises, sudden shifts in the wind --...
Read More
What to Pack for Your Optimal Open-First Box

What to Pack for Your Optimal Open-First Box

Depending on how far away your upcoming move will take you, it’s a good idea to consider packing an open-first...
Read More
How to Get Organized Ahead of Move-Out Day

How to Get Organized Ahead of Move-Out Day

It’s hard to imagine bringing order to a messy process like moving. Taking a few steps to get yourself organized...
Read More
Moving? How to Move a Firearm

Moving? How to Move a Firearm

If you're moving and you own a firearm, you may be wondering how to best handle having possession of a...
Read More
3 Best Ways to See Fall Foliage in New Hampshire

3 Best Ways to See Fall Foliage in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is beautiful in the fall, especially when all those colors start coming out. If you live in New...
Read More
Want updates like this delivered straight to your inbox?
Subscribe to our blog to receive moving tips, the latest and greatest around NH, and more. We don't share your email address with anyone and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *