Cardboard Recycling Myths Debunked

cardboard waste myths question mark

Cardboard recycling… maybe more complicated than you thought?

We speak to hundreds of UK business owners a day, helping them with their waste management needs.

You’d be surprised how many thought these cardboard myths were true!

Table of Contents

ripped cardboard ready for recycling

Myth #1: “It’s better to throw cardboard in the regular bin.”

Ah, the classic misconception.

Some might think tossing cardboard into the general waste bin is harmless, but the reality is far from it.

Cardboard can take years to decompose in landfills, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Recycling, on the other hand, saves trees and energy used in manufacturing new products.

Myth #2: “Dirty cardboard can’t be recycled.”

While pristine cardboard is ideal, a coffee stain doesn’t mean it’s destined for the dump.

Most recycling facilities can process lightly soiled cardboard, although heavily contaminated materials might pose challenges.

Waste Managed Tip: Separate clean and dirty cardboard to streamline the recycling process.

Myth #3: “Recycling cardboard isn’t cost-effective.”

Some businesses fear that recycling will break the bank.

However, by using a dry mixed recycling bin for your cardboard waste, you can actually reduce the amount of waste going into your general waste bin – saving you on excess weight fees!

Did you know that you can even sell your cardboard waste? A great way to generate some extra revenue whilst saving the planet.

cardboard boxes folded up ready for recycling

Myth #4: “Breaking down cardboard takes too much time.”

Time is money, they say.

But breaking down cardboard boxes for recycling doesn’t have to be a laborious task.

Implementing a system where staff flatten boxes as they empty them can turn this chore into a quick and manageable routine.

Bonus: It reduces clutter in your workspace!

Myth #5: “It’s all or nothing—either recycle perfectly or don’t bother.”

Every bit counts in the world of recycling.

Imperfectly folded boxes or mixed with a bit of plastic? That’s still recyclable!

Most facilities can sort and process mixed materials.

Remember, the goal is to divert cardboard from landfills, so don’t sweat the small stuff.

Read more on whether cardboard can go in your general waste bin here!

Myth #6: “Recycled cardboard isn’t as good as new.”

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth.

Recycled cardboard often undergoes a rigorous process to become just as sturdy and reliable as its virgin counterparts.

In fact, using recycled cardboard can enhance your business’s sustainability credentials, appealing to eco-conscious consumers.

corregated cardboard ready for recycling

Myth #7: “Cardboard recycling is just a drop in the ocean.”

While it’s true that individual efforts may seem small, collectively, they make a significant impact.

Recycling cardboard reduces waste, conserves resources, and lowers carbon emissions—all crucial steps toward a greener future.

Every box counts!

Myth #8: “Grease makes cardboard unrecyclable.”

This myth often leaves business owners scratching their heads.

While heavily saturated or heavily stained cardboard might pose challenges in the recycling process, lightly greased pizza boxes or takeaway containers can still be recycled.

Simply tear off the clean parts and recycle them separately.

Remember, every bit of cardboard diverted from landfill counts towards a greener future!

Myth #9: “Wet cardboard can’t be recycled.”

Ah, the soggy cardboard dilemma!

While waterlogged boxes might seem like a recycling no-go, fear not.

Many recycling facilities can handle slightly damp cardboard, just try to dry it out as much as you can before putting it in the bin.

Just make sure to separate it from the dry stuff to keep the recycling process smooth sailing.

Remember, every drop of water on that box won’t sink your eco-ship!

inside of a cardboard box


So, there you have it—cardboard recycling myths debunked!

As a business owner in the UK, embracing cardboard recycling isn’t just about compliance; it’s about leading by example in sustainability.

By debunking these myths, you’re not only contributing to a healthier environment but also setting a positive precedent for your employees, customers, and community.

Together, let’s flatten those boxes and make a lasting impact, one recycled cardboard at a time!

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