If you think about the number of cardboard boxes that are used to ship products around the world every year, it’s difficult to imagine how many of these boxes are used once and then recycled – or worse, thrown away. In fact, cardboard is used for about 90 percent of all products that are shipped in the United States. Considering that, the global packaging industry is worth nearly $424 billion, of which 28 percent of that business takes place North America, meaning that even a slight reduction in the use of cardboard here at home would lead to a significant decrease in the amount of waste generated.
Recognizing this opportunity, UK-based company Notbox has moved into the North American market with their synonymously named product, which is a reusable, lightweight shipping enclosure. They come in a variety of sizes and fold flat for more convenient storage and backhaul, and have even developed an insulated version for industries that require their products to temperature-regulated, like healthcare. The company claims that each Notbox can be used up to 20 times and is 99.058 percent recyclable. After ten uses, every box will have saved the CO2 equivalent of nearly four cardboard boxes being manufactured, plus the disposal of nine.
While the company hasn’t released information on how much more each Notbox will cost, as compared to a traditional cardboard box, their initial marketing strategy is targeting companies that view eliminating cardboard as a ‘low-hanging fruit’ in an environmental sustainability agenda. “Reducing corrugated cardboard excess is one of the fastest and most effective steps a company can take to reduce waste and is high on the corporate agenda,” said Thomas Hellman, the new Chairman and President of Notbox North America. “Consumers will place a greater value on recyclability and the perceived ‘greenness’ of packaging and increasingly demand proof of sustainability claims, such as life cycle analysis data and carbon footprint exposure, and that opens up an enormous market for Notbox.”