Category: Card

Cardboard is widely used for transporting products due to its low cost and ability to hold its shape. Corrugated cardboard is becoming more frequently used due to a relatively recent increase in home deliveries as a result of a shift to online shopping.

Cardboard usually starts life as cellulose, the part of the trunk inside a tree that gives it strength. The trees are cut down and the cellulose fibres pulverised and mixed with water. The resulting ‘pulp’ is pressed and dried, ready to be rolled into cardboard.

There are broadly two types of cardboard; paper board and corrugated board.

  • Paperboard is thicker than paper; it’s the kind of board that makes up a cereal box.
  • Corrugated board is a pleated paper covered by two sheets, and is mostly found in thick cardboard boxes.

Corrugated cardboard was patented in England in 1856 by Albert Jones, to be used as a liner for tall hats to make them more comfortable and durable. It was not until 1871 that corrugated cardboard was patented in box form, the strength of the pleat providing an advantage when transporting goods.


Unfortunately, each time paper is recycled its fibres are shortened. This means paper can be recycled around six times before it has degraded too much to be recycled any further.


The Rubbish Book: A Complete Guide to Recycling by James Piper, published 2022