Cardboard recycling is important because of the high volume of waste produced from packaging materials. Cardboard is a very lightweight, low density material. In its loose form, cardboard is problematic to ship. Because of this, cardboard baling is essential to increase the material’s density and weight for shipping to the mill. This reduces transportation costs and the associated pollution with shipping materials.
Cardboard Recycling Process
Once at the paper mill, the bales are broken open and fed to a repulper. In this wet process, the cardboard is agitated until it forms a fiber slurry. At the same time, a chain in the repulper collects and removes contaminants like plastic and other debris. The clean fiber slurry then enters the paper recycling machine where screens remove much of the water and forms a fiber mat.
The fiber mat passes through rollers and heated cylinders removing even more water. Once dry enough, the paper sheets are rewound into huge rolls. These rolls are shipped to another manufacturer who presses the two exterior sheets onto a corrugated interior making new corrugated cardboard sheets.