Essential Tips For Recycling Cardboard

  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Cardboard is everyday waste, useful, practical, and recyclable!

What is the composition of cardboard? Is it recyclable? How to do it? Can you recycle it yourself?

We answer your questions and share some simple tips for getting started in cardboard recycling and reducing waste.

What Is Cardboard?

Cardboard is a medium made of cellulose fibers. These fibers are created mainly from wood or old paper and cardboard to be recycled.

Like its cousin, paper, cardboard comes to us from wood. It was initially obtained by laminating several layers of paper but is now produced using more modern techniques.


Cardboard comprises 40 to 50% cellulose. It can be made from 100% natural materials as long as they are not bleached. Cardboard production is quite energy intensive but does not involve damaging chemicals.


The invention of cardboard in France dates back to 1751. It is attributed to René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, who developed it for specific applications such as: signs, bindings and playing cards.

The first commercially non-corrugated paperboard box is often credited to the English firm M. Treverton & Son in 1817.

What Is Cardboard Made Of?

Cardboard is made of raw paper. Different types of paper can be used for the production of cardboard, which determines its quality and partly the properties of the paper. It is basically made up of a collection of different layers of paper.

Is Cardboard Natural?

Let’s talk about “organic matter.”

Organic matter is the material that makes up living things. Materials of organic origin come from living or synthetic plants: wood, cotton, wool, paper, cardboard, cooking, etc.
Manufacturing cardboard is ensured by a cardboard machine. To produce corrugated cardboard, you need paper, glue, and heat. The paper is recycled or virgin. The glue is of the starch type (usually corn or wheat).

Is Cardboard Biodegradable?

A good definition of biodegradable is:

“Biodegradable” refers to a product that, if left to its own devices, will decompose over time due to bacteria or other biological agents.

Yes, the cardboard box is doubly ecological: besides being biodegradable, the cardboard is often made from recycled cardboard.

Cardboard recycling: How To Do It?

All cardboard packaging is recyclable. There is only one imperative: make sure to empty them! The pizza box and the fruit juice box can be recycled just like the packaging of your new keyboard, provided that it no longer contains any food.

To recycle paper, put it in the “paper, newspapers, and magazines” bin or crate and throw in things like:

  • Boxes
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Cereal boxes
  • White envelopes

Where Does Recycled Cardboard Go?

Cardboard that is ready to be recycled is transported to sorting centers. First, it’s sorted into different types of waste and their quality. Then it’s compressed into large bundles or bales. Finally, it’s then taken to the paper mill for recycling.

How Is Paper Recycled?

Recycling recycled paper uses less energy and water than producing virgin fiber paper. In addition, recycling waste paper means having less waste to dispose of.

But How Does Recycling Paper & Cardboard Work?

  • Sorting is therefore carried out at the sorting center as mentioned above.
  • The paper is then crushed, an operation called “grinding,” to transform it into flakes.
  • The paper is then mixed with water to form a brownish mush called “pulp”.
  • Finally, the pulp is drained, pressed, and dried.
  • Old papers are soaked in soapy water and some additives to remove ink and other debris. This separates the cellulose fibers from each other. Next, this pulp is cleaned to remove contaminants (staples, spirals, plastics, metals, etc.).

Why Recycle Paper In The Office & At Home?

The main reason is ecological. Cardboard has become a significant problem in our environment. Recycling cardboard at home and in the office is essential because it prevents landfills from becoming full. By recycling cardboard, we also save trees from being cut down. Recycling cardboard saves natural resources and helps the environment.

Today, recycling paper avoids releasing billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

How To Recycle Cardboard Yourself

Here are the steps to follow to recycle the cardboard yourself:

  • Start by sorting recyclable paper at your home or office.
  • Cut the pieces of paper and put them in a blender with water.
  • Stir to obtain a sort of paste.
  • Pour the preparation into the container.
  • Immerse a colander in the container to fill it with the preparation.
  • Remove the colander and place it on a bath towel or paper towel.

Cardboard packaging, egg cartons, laundry boxes, cereal boxes, and supermarket product cartons can be recycled. They just need to be clean and any metal or plastic parts removed. Remember that metal and glass packaging is recyclable too!