Last year, 300,000 fewer tons of corrugated containers were recycled in the USA than in the year before, even as domestic consumption increased by 3.5%, according to the American Forest & Paper Association.

An industry trade body has warned that the UK could be hit by a national cardboard shortage as local governments suspend recycling collections. This is a result of pressures caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The same shortages appear likely in other countries where Covid-19 is altering supply chains and recycling centers.

Box Latch™ Products to the Rescue

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With home deliveries skyrocketing, much of today’s fiber ends up in household bins headed for incineration or landfills. A USA TODAY analysis of several industry studies on cardboard use and recycling indicates Americans are sending more corrugated cardboard to landfills than to recycling plants compared to past years.

Reuse of boxes is not possible universally. Where it can be utilized it can provide remarkable cost reductions. It works extremely well in closed circuits. Examples include:

  • Boxes going from Point A to Point B within the same facility or between multiple sites owned by the same company,
  • Where regular interval shipments occur between manufacturers and their fulfillment centers that provide pick and pack inventory management for their products and
  • Between distribution centers and retail stores for companies such as Target, Walgreen and Walmart.

The Recycling Association has huge concerns about a looming European and even worldwide shortage of fiber from used paper and cardboard. Fiber is needed to manufacture millions of cardboard boxes essential for the distribution of food and medical supplies. Growth of the cardboard fiber needs and industry are illustrated at

Valuable quantities of fiber have been lost from major street retailers in the UK such as McDonald’s, Primark, John Lewis, Argos and B&Q after non-essential businesses were told to close.

Click here to find out how Box Latch™ products can help your company avoid a box shortage by reusing your boxes 10 to 20 or more times.