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Lockdown cardboard shortage sparks calls for more recycling


Lockdown cardboard shortage sparks calls for more recycling

A surge in home deliveries during the lockdown has created a national cardboard shortage, delaying the delivery of goods and sparking calls for us to recycle more.

Industry experts said Amazon and other e-commerce giants were buying huge amounts of cardboard to meet “unprecedented” demand, leaving smaller brands struggling.

Amazon denied experiencing shortages and said: “We work with suppliers throughout the year to forecast and manage our packaging needs.”

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), which represents manufacturers, said demand for cardboard boxes from online retailers was five years ahead of where it had expected to be before the pandemic.

While there is always a peak in demand in the run-up to Christmas, stockpiling around the Brexit deadline exacerbated the problem.

Covid-19 also led to complications with shipping and staffing challenges, and the CPI described it as a "perfect storm,"

But it said that new capacity – with mills making “fast-moving” investments in new machinery to keep up with demand - would help ease the pressure.

Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, said: “Home delivery is sucking the cardboard from the system because there is such phenomenal demand.

“Products are flying through the post, the ‘Amazon effect’ as I call it, and where 10 toys would be packed into one box and sent to a shop, they are now individually packaged and sent to people’s homes.

“We need to be good recyclers and get it all back in our recycling bin.”

The Recycling Association represents more than 100 organisations from the collection and processing sector. It is the largest network of independent waste and recycling operators in the UK, with a combined annual turnover in excess of £2bn.

Last March, it warned of a looming European and even worldwide shortage of fibre used to manufacture millions of cardboard boxes essential for food and medical supplies distribution.

You can put cardboard in any skip you hire from Fletchers Waste Management, and 98% of all our waste is recycled! For skip hire in SheffieldChesterfieldRotherhamBarnsleyWorksop, or Doncaster, call 0114 493 8092 or book online using our online booking system.