Guest Blog by – Beyond the Box spokesperson, Andy Barnetson
You might think that we talk about recycling a lot around here – and you’d be right! At Beyond the Box, we believe it’s important we keep sustainability firmly on our radar.
After living through a truly uncertain period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with society gradually going back to ‘normal’.
Though the question is, will ‘normal’, as we knew it, ever return? Living in lockdown has undeniably altered our lives, from our working situations to our buying habits. In fact, lots of us have turned to online shopping in the absence of visits to high street stores and have seen many more boxes and packages arriving to our front doors as a result.
We can all agree that nobody wants their brand-new iPhone to arrive smashed or their food shop to be delivered damaged, which is why sustainable packaging, and in particularly, cardboard packaging is such an important resource. Not only is it well designed with a sturdy structure, it is 100% recyclable, with the best recycling record of any packaging material in the UK.
However, if every adult in the UK were to throw just one cardboard box into the rubbish, rather than recycling it, 25 thousand tonnes of cardboard could be lost to landfill. That’s enough cardboard boxes to line up from here to Australia, and back. Cardboard which could have been broken down into paper fibres and reused again and again.
This demonstrates just how important recycling is – and the part we can all play in making the most of this sustainable packaging material. In fact, the cardboard industry counts on recycling to recollect paper fibres from used boxes – which can typically be used up to 7 times – in order to make new boxes. The paper fibres in cardboard packaging keep your fruit and veg protected during transit on the way to your local supermarket and even box up your multipack of beer, cider or wine – ready for you to enjoy over the weekend.
Although the UK has a good recycling record which we should all be proud of, our research reveals that some people have been making a mess of things during lockdown, with a quarter (24%) of us witnessing rubbish being left in in our parks or public spaces.
Of course, you might say that during lockdown there were more important things to think about. And who can blame some of us for getting distracted – we’re facing a pandemic after all – but it’s important that we stay positive and stop and think about the global impact of our actions. Plus, I’m sure we can all agree that there’s no excuse for littering our wonderful public spaces with rubbish. We can, and we must, continue to do better. The good news is that many of us plan to, with three in ten adults (27%) planning to prioritise recycling now lockdown measures are easing.
As environmentalist Robert Swan once said, “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that somebody else will save it.”
So, let’s continue to use sustainable packaging, like cardboard, and keep up our positive recycling habits to make a change for the better.