Once A Box, Always A Box

** Featured by the Canadian Corrugated & Containerboard Association: https://cccabox.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/OnceaBox.pdf

Once A Box, Always A Box. You’re doing everything you can to reduce your carbon footprint–shopping locally, using reusable products, reducing consumption, and carpooling. Even when you’re doing everything you can, it’s discouraging to feel like your actions as an individual aren’t making a difference on a global scale. That’s why, at the Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association (CCCA), we are doing our part to support a circular economy for the planet.

A recent United Nations report on climate change suggests the Earth can only rise 1.5 degrees Celsius until it sustains irreversible damages. This statistic puts a lot of pressure on the incoming generation; they must adapt their entire lifestyles to keep our planet healthy. While environmentally ethical individual choices are necessary, sometimes they are not sufficient. It’s up to large companies to be accountable for their carbon emissions and overall environmental impact.

We spoke with Baskar Kotte, the CEO of Quality Systems Enhancement, who has worked in the packaging industry for 30 years. He emphasized the definition of sustainability: “development that meets needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future”. Within the industrial setting, the steps to sustainability are implemented as follows:

  • Decrease or eliminate rate of extracting resources
  • Decrease production of plastics and other non-biodegradable products
  • Consciously and effectively use land for agriculture, forestry, and animal cultivation
  • Foster better working conditions for all workers

Since 1988, 71% of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions come from just 100 companies worldwide. The solution to climate change is a collective issue, not just a matter of individual lifestyle change. We acknowledge that our responsibility as a global industry should exceed the efforts put in at the individual level.

Our circular economy is based on our high recycled contentof 90%, even 100% in some markets. The percentages vary depending on the mill sources available. The recycling process is simple: just add water and mix. Foreign materials are carefully removed to assure the same quality of life from the first box to the next. And when we make the box, we use heat at 190°F on the corrugators and that sanitizes the paper, making our boxes clean and safe.

The efforts you put put into sorting recyclables into the Blue Boxes across Canada help this circular recovery process. With specific divisions sourcing out old corrugated case material, the cardboard put in Blue Boxes is effectively recycled.

Our forests are a treasure. Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere–mitigating the effects of climate change. 9% of the world’s forests are in Canada, and the packaging industry uses a fraction of 1% of our forests. The fraction used for packaging is replenished, and then some. We support the cyclical nature of forests, as they have supported us.

The world’s resources are limited, and we can’t expect our planet to always give. Recycling materials shows that we live with the planet, and don’t see it as something to be used or exploited at our discretion.

Your individual lifestyle and large company’s efforts go hand in hand. There is a lot of pressure for each younger generation to solve climate change, but that shouldn’t take any accountability away from the parents. Keep up the individual efforts, as we are the supply to your demand.

As a consumer, you have power in your purchases. Think of the store scanner as a voting system: when more recycled corrugated products are scanned and sold, the more we support further recycling for even more products.

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