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Closing the loop with cardboard

How it is produced and how it supports your sustainability efforts

How sustainable is corrugated packaging?

Corrugated packaging is actually a perfect example of the circular economy

Corrugated packaging is 100% recyclable, based on renewable sources and fully bio-degradable. In fact, corrugated packaging is one of the most recycled paper products in use today, with a well-established market for secondary raw materials. Efficient recycling processes allow fibres to be reused for new packaging. Recycled paper provides 88% of the raw material for new corrugated boxes – ensuring the continuous life of the fibres while making a valuable contribution to our economy. Interested to find out more? Dive into our sustainability publications.

What makes corrugated packaging special?

Four reasons why corrugated packaging is the most versatile form of protective packaging

  • Robust and strong – Ideal for the transportation of all kinds of goods
  • Easily printable – Excellent to support your image and promote your brand at the same time
  • 100% recyclable – The first choice for brand owners and specifiers who value sustainability
  • Multi-purpose – Thanks to a wide range of board combinations, boxes can be as small or as large as you need them

How is corrugated cardboard made?

Think of corrugated cardboard as a sandwich, with two slices of bread and a filling!

In the case of a sheet of corrugated cardboard, the “bread slices” are two layers of paper – the outer and inner liners. Just like a sandwich can be made from different types of bread, corrugated cardboard can be made from different types of paper.

The inner liner as well as the corrugated section between the inner and outer liner are both made of Fluting. The outer liner, which defines the visual aspect of the packaging and should also be suitable for printing, is usually made of Testliner.

If a stronger, longer lasting sandwich is required, an extra layer can be added, to make double-walled corrugated cardboard. 

What other cardboard do we produce?

Solid board for specialty packaging

Products such as fresh and frozen meat, poultry, fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers often contain a high moisture content and are typically packed in damp or high humidity environments. To protect and transport these products, solid board packaging is required. This is ideal for these fast-moving fresh and frozen applications due to the combination of these advantages:

  • High moisture resistance for use in damp environments
  • High density gives rigidity to packaging
  • Smoothness allows it to be flexo and offset printed
  • Suitable for easy addition of precise folding and cutting lines
  • Limited thickness allows cost-effective handling and storage

Discover more information on solid board, as well as VPK’s production sites for corrugated cardboard and solid board.

How can we help you?

We hope this has helped you understand how waste paper and cardboard becomes the high-quality recycled paper used to make paper-based packaging. If you have any further questions on this topic, feel free to drop us a line. Our experts are available to answer any specific questions you might have.

Contact us!

Read more on our other sustainability topics

Recycled paper is the basis of all our packaging products. Our paper mills are at the forefront of innovation in terms of energy efficiency. We continuously invest to close the production loop, supporting the circular economy, and putting all of our resources – including energy, water, materials and waste streams – to the best possible use.

Water and energy

More on the projects we implement to accelerate our path towards a circular economy.
Read more

Paper recycling

A brief description of how we transform waste paper into high-quality recycled paper used to make paper-based packaging.
Read more

Interested to know even more on VPK's sustainability approach?