Lifecycle of a Recycled Custom Shipping Box [Video]

The lifecycle of a recycled custom shipping box starts at a consumer’s front door—and ends there. But before a recycled shipping box lands on a front doorstep, it is transformed through several different steps more complex than you may imagine.

The benefit of using Brandable Box’s custom shipping boxes is that our parent company, Pratt Industries, does all of this for us. Being fully integrated end-to-end creates a custom shipping box made from 100% recycled materials and creates a more affordable price for you.

Let’s walk through the journey of a recycled custom shipping box from paper to end-product.

Step 1: Recycling Pick Up

The life of any custom recycled shipping box starts at your front door, or maybe at the end of your driveway.

When the recycling truck comes, it picks up the recycling materials you’ve pooled in front of your home and transports all the paper to a paper mill.

If you live in an area without recycling pick up, you can always drop off your recyclables at a center near you.

At the paper mill, the paper is separated into different types and grades.

Step 2: Pulping and Filtering

Once the recyclables are sorted and separated, the pulping process begins. It starts with a large crane dropping paper into the pulper. The paper is soaked in a warm mixture that helps to separate out and break down the paper fibers. Pulping creates the base of what becomes a corrugated box.

To make sure your recycled custom shipping box is pure, this pulp goes through a filtering process. In fact, it goes through several filtering processes. It helps remove things from the pulp like leftover ink, plastic, rubber, glue, tape and styrofoam.

The end result? A clean, raw paper fiber that now becomes the base of your recycled custom shipping box.

Step 3: Pressing and Corrugating

Once the base is created, the raw paper fiber is pressed and vacuumed so that any excess water can dry out. Then, the paper fiber can be turned into a paper roll, sometimes getting up to 35 tons.

Ah, finally. The corrugating step to create those custom corrugated boxes. Each corrugator machine takes three individual rolls of paper to create corrugated board liner. The two liners, that sandwiches what’s called a flute in the center, are created during this step. The flute is what gives the boxes their crush resistance and stacking strength.

Step 4: Cutting and Gluing

Once the paper runs through the corrugator to become liner board, each piece of liner board goes through the cutting process. Every piece of board is cut a different way depending on what size box it’s going to be.

And lastly, the gluing process. Each liner board is glued together and laid flat. That makes it easier for our team to ship out the boxes to you, the business owner.

Step 5: Customization

Here’s where the fun part comes in: customization. You know that “Upload Your Logo” section you see on our product pages? This is how our team creates your finished custom shipping box.

Our creative team collects, reviews and puts your logo into a template. Once the final artwork is approved by our team, your box size is selected. Then, your boxes are fitted into templates for printing. The templates help keep the boxes secure and flat while going through our printer. Finally, your boxes are sent through the machine to become the custom shipping boxes of your dreams.

The boxes go through printing and then through an ink transfer, which is just lingo for “your logo prints out here.”

When they come through the other side of the printer, each and every box is collected for quality inspection. This way, our team can assure there are no ink bleeds or mistakes from the machine.

After the quality check is completed, your custom shipping boxes are bundled, wrapped and packed to be shipped.

Not too long after that, the paper an end-consumer recycled and left at their front doorstep shows up at your front doorstep in the form of your custom shipping box.

Pretty full circle, right?

Brandable Box custom kraft brown shipping boxes are made from 100% recycled materials, not trees. We’re able to do this thanks to our parent company, Pratt Industries. You can read more about the recycling process that Pratt Industries' boxes (including ours!) go through here.

Want to check out our collection of custom shipping boxes?

Browse our boxes.

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