How Echo Cartons contribute to a circular economy

Circular economy

Whether in our personal choices or our business decisions; many of us place a premium on sustainable options. At Echo Cartons, we want you to have the highest-quality products without compromising your sustainable values. Through a focus on recycling materials and investing in solar power for our manufacturing site, we’re making sure we are reducing our carbon footprint and being as environmentally-friendly as possible. Here’s how our manufacturing processes contribute to a circular economy.

What is a circular economy?

Most products currently are created, consumed and discarded. This is what we call a linear economy – it is a process with a start and finish. Relying on this linear economy has led to many environmental stressors like climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. But science and society have found a new solution; the circular economy.

One of the key principles to a circular economy is eliminating waste. This could be through creating resources without waste, repairing products rather than discarding them or repurposing waste into new resources. This process works more like a circle than a line. It means our products are returned to the beginning of the process rather than ending up in landfill.

Some examples of a circular economy at work include:

  • Renewable energy which relies on abundant resources that produce no waste (e.g. sunlight, water, wind)
  • Refurbishing products, like technology and furniture, to extend their lifespan
  • Recycling products that were lost during manufacturing and reusing them in a new product

Playing our part in the circular economy

With a commitment to both quality and sustainability, Echo Cartons have done our best to ensure we are supporting a circular economy. There are two key ways we’ve moved toward a circular economy: recycling offcuts and renewable energy.

We recently upgraded our warehouse to solar power. This means that the production of your packaging uses renewable energy to minimise waste and pressure on the environment.

It’s natural for our manufacturing process to create waste as we cut your boxes down to size. But it’s also natural for cardboard to be recycled. We decided not to let any offcuts go to waste. By partnering with a paper recycling partner, we repurpose 100% of our waste into new cardboard; ready to be manufactured again. This process helps us save 250 tonnes of cardboard offcuts from landfill each year. You can learn more about our recycling process in the previous blog.

Being 100% recycled, 100% of the time presents some real-world challenges.  Paper can only be recycled so many times before the fibres lose strength. Further, not all of the fibres can be recovered through the collection and sorting process, which means you can’t collect enough material from yesterday’s consumption to meet constantly growing future needs.  Given this, we see it as important that new fibres enter the system and that those new fibres are from a sustainable source, like pulp and paper suppliers who harvest one tree, plant more, and ensure that all parts of the tree are used carefully.

We actively endeavour to ensure we buy from sustainable sources and that our products are fully recyclable at the end of their life which is a key component to the circular economy.

How you can play your part after purchase

It takes all of us together to build a more sustainable world. While we’re proud of the steps we’ve taken to reduce our impact, we also rely on our clients and their customers to complete the cycle. When you’ve finished with your corrugated cardboard packaging, we kindly ask that you recycle it appropriately. To encourage your customers to dispose of their boxes carefully, consider adding recycling instructions on your box. We can help you design and print custom boxes featuring a message of your choice.

Ask us about sustainable packaging

Every part of your business provides an opportunity to do better for our environment. From running a digital-only office to choosing sustainable packaging; it’s easier than ever to make your mark. If you’d like to know more about sustainable packaging options, talk to the team.

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