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Close up of corrugated cardboard


Sheard Packaging are one of the largest independent corrugated case manufacturers in the UK, and as such sustainability of our product and the resultant impact we have on the environment is of paramount importance to us.
The paper and corrugated industry at times has received bad press, in terms of the reusability or recyclability of the product, and whether the sources of this product are controlled in terms of correct farming of the forests rather than deforestation. Forests across Europe are growing at the rate of 645km2 per day and only 60% of this growth is likely to be harvested and in truth the corrugated industry uses much of the by-products of other industries, such as construction or furniture manufacture – up to 26% of the raw material comes from these sources. Some 82% of the fibre in corrugated packaging is derived from recycled paper, and whilst there is always the need for virgin pulp to enter the life cycle of paper, it remains a truly controlled and green alternative to fossil fuel-based products such as plastic.

Current legislation and debate is around reuse (such as Returnable Plastic Crates) versus recycle (paper-based products), and specifically which is more environmentally friendly and which is commercially better. The pendulum swings but we (and the Global Corrugated Industry) are convinced paper-based products are far better as they do not utilise the finite fossil fuels of the planet in their manufacture.

Whilst we ensure all the raw material we use in our process is 100% recyclable (fibres can be recycled up to 25 times in modern processes) and is fully FSC accredited, we are acutely conscious of the need to ensure other parts of our process are equally sustainable. It is impossible to avoid certain negative impacts of carbon emission – The raw material needs to get to our site, energy needs to be used to turn the raw material in to a finished case, ink may need to be applied, people need to travel to work, product needs to be delivered etc, but we try to ensure in all cases these impacts are kept to an absolute minimum. For instance, delivering product to customers has an impact on the environment, and we strive to ameliorate the effect by ensuring we maximise load fill for the greatest efficiency possible. All parts of our organisation are being challenged, from ink and forme recycling to maximising the use of solar panels.

Our Value Optimisation programs specifically target costs and inefficiencies wherever they appear in the Supply Chain. We are dedicated to removing unnecessary cost and any subsequent environmental impact by challenging the norm and illustrating not just commercial benefits but more importantly carbon removal benefits – Waste is simply bad. Often packaging is over-engineered in the Supply Chain and delivering a negative impact to the environment. Our job is to ensure the packaging is fit-for-purpose, and our Laboratory facilities and testing equipment provide the data to have maximum benefit for the customer and the environment by reducing grammages, reducing blank sizes and checking best pallet fill.

In summary, Sheard constantly challenge those areas where we can impact upon our carbon footprint, both inside our own business and where we can influence it, across the Supply Chain. Our facilities are dedicated to Performance Packaging, and we will continue to challenge the norm to be the benchmark in our industry.