CARTON AND SUSTAINABILITY
Cardboard is one of the most common packaging materials in Europe. It not only meets a number of requirements such as protection, information and promotion, It’s also very environmental friendly. We only use cardboard of the highest quality, made from primary fibers.
The tree in our logo is made of open boxes. Ever since we make boxes, we have been referring to cardboard as a nature-friendly material for packaging. And that is still the case.
Wood is the primary source for cardboard. Trees from a production forest are used for the production of cardboard, but more are planted than felled. And young trees absorb more CO2 than old trees. An important part of the CO2 emissions that arise from the production of cardboard is therefore also neutralized by these trees. In addition, the forest stock in Europe is only increasing, and that is partly thanks to the cardboard industry. Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew with an area that is approximately the same as that of the Netherlands (source Papierenkarton.nl).
With the guarantee stamp that we have been using for a long time, we want to draw the attention of consumers to the fact that cardboard packaging is extremely suitable for reuse. In the Netherlands, around 84% of the paper and cardboard marketed in the Netherlands is now collected and recycled (source Papierenkarton.nl).
However, primary cardboard must always be used for direct contact with food. When cardboard is reused, substances are added to the cardboard to maintain the firmness of the cardboard fibers. These substances must not come into direct contact with food. Recycled cardboard is suitable if food is prepackaged.
Everyone knows the garden furniture made from tropical hardwood. In addition, there are many other uses for hardwood. Hardwood has never been used for cardboard production, because these trees are not suitable for this.
Organizations such as FSC and PEFC are committed to sustainably managed forests worldwide. In the first instance as a reaction to the felling of tropical hardwood, but now they are involved with all forests worldwide, including the production forests for cardboard. Production forests for cardboard are now fully or partially FSC and / or PEFC certified. The consumer therefore has a choice.
Veerkarton cooperates with FSC and offers you the option of using cardboard made from FSC certified cardboard. We are therefore checked annually by the FSC organization. Ask for our FSC certified products. Our normal cardboard (without certificate) also comes from sustainably managed forests.
Recyclability, biodegradability and compostability
You could say that the cardboard that we use is sustainably grown. It is also suitable for recycling, and can be biodegraded or composted. But that does depend on the way in which it is collected and the facilities available to make the aforementioned processes possible. Take for example a banana peel, a 100% natural and edible product. But if you have a banana peel in the corner of the room, it will just stay there, but under the right circumstances it will be composted within a few weeks.
In the European Community, these terms are covered by Directive 94/62 / EC, and are detailed in further detail in standards EN 13430 (material recycling) and EN 13432 (biodegradable and / or industrially compostable). But what is meant by these terms?
Reuse of fibers, something that is stimulated from the cardboard. As stated earlier, we have been contributing to this since we made folding cartons.
In principle (almost) everything is biodegradable, but the duration is from a few weeks to hundreds of years. The conditions and time are not defined. The process of biodegradation is always dependent on environmental factors (eg place or temperature), the material itself and the application.
The term “compostable” refers to those materials / products that meet the European standard for industrial composting: EN 13432 or EN 14995. Composting is done in a controlled system, without the addition of artificial additives. Cardboard or cardboard with a coating will disintegrate into water, carbon dioxide and biomass.
Composting is industrial and private and can take between 6 and 12 weeks. However, it does not happen automatically, it does need the right circumstances. Incidentally, it is important to note that the “compostability” property does not depend on the origin of the material but on the chemical structure. Compost is used as a soil improver and also partially replaces mineral fertilizers.
The terms biodegradable and compostable are often used interchangeably.