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The Rise of Cardboard Shredders: Say 'No' to Styrofoam

By Shopify API March 26, 2019

It’s obvious why important documents might require shredding, but not cardboard.  Though still relatively unknown to the public, cardboard shredders do in fact have many benefits.  Warehouses, shipping departments, or any other business that accumulates an abundance of cardboard boxes can save time and money with a single machine.  In the time that you purchase and wait for delivery of packing materials, you could purchase a cardboard shredder and never have to pay a third-party business again. Instead of buying new packing material with fluctuating costs over and over again, such as non-recyclable styrofoam (that damages the environment), a one-time purchase of a cardboard shredder produces an endless supply of cheap packing material (so long as there’s cardboard).  And because cardboard can be recycled, there is no need to pay for the cost of new materials, waste management, or send materials to landfills.  You already have all the cardboard you need, all that’s left is getting a shredder.

Cardboard itself is inherently economical and green.  Unlike normal paper made from hardwood trees (depleting the world’s forestry at an unsustainable rate), cardboard is made from both recycled material and easily replenished softwood fibers, making it biodegradable and perfectly sustainable.  Therefore, re-using cardboards to replace wasteful and/or non-biodegradable materials maximizes sustainability and reduces the amount of environmentally harmful waste produced and thrown away.  Most people may recognize the small packing peanuts typically used to fill packages by its trade name, styrofoam.  Polystyrene (styrofoam’s real name) is a petroleum-based plastic and the damages of its production greatly outweighs the benefits.  Most people don’t know just how toxic and dangerous styrofoam can be and continue to use it.


Styrene (a component of polystyrene) carries a plethora of health risks with prolonged exposure, affecting the central nervous system, in addition to the possibility of being a carcinogen, bad news for the thousands of workers who work in the production of plastics, rubber, and resins.  Workers inhale dangerous gasses thereby causing chromosomal damage, cancer, reproductive problems, and more, while heavily damaging the ozone layer.  Production of styrofoam produces the fifth largest amount of hazardous waste and heavily pollutes the environment.  Among the pollutants is a gas created at ground level, affecting the immune systems of millions of Americans and animals alike.  Styrofoam takes up more than 25% of landfills, and when it physically breaks down, animals who unknowingly consume it often choke.  Styrofoam can be recycled, but only into more polystyrene products, continuously using new resources for new styrofoam.  So the question stands, why use such a harmful and costly material when you have the option of easy, green recycling?


Recycling cardboard saves companies money, but also saves trees, solid waste, energy, greenhouse gases, harmful chemicals, and more.  It benefits users and communities while promoting sustainable materials.  With so many advantages, both to companies and the environment, it’s hard to deny that cardboard shredders are anything but beneficial.  By simply cutting systematic slits, cardboard shredders create durable, economical packing material.  Shredders are easy to use and equipped with safety features to protect your fingers.  All you need to to do is turn on the shredder and insert cardboard.  In no time, the shredder produces netting-like sheets that can be stretched or folded to protect packaged items.  You can even choose from a range of sizes to fit your needs, from a compact desktop model to a 5000 lb giant with horsepower (that can tear apart plastic bottles, clothing, and more).  Regular paper shredders are not recommended for shredding cardboard, as they can’t take on large quantities (surface area or multiple sheets) of corrugated cardboard and can suffer dulled performance or even break down.  Shredded cardboard can be more than just packing material, however.  Gardening enthusiasts can use it for composting or things like mushroom cultivation by simply moistening shredded cardboard and placing it with plants or worms.  Shredded cardboard is a money-saving option for animal bedding for pets and even livestock animals. Repurposing otherwise discarded cardboard is easy and has so many potential applications, even beyond packing material.


In recent days, manufacturers have released newer shredders with higher efficiency, expanding the range of choices.  Because they recognize the benefit and effectiveness of cardboard shredders, manufacturers are creating and selling more to dealers.  More than before, many dealers carry more options for cardboards shredding.  Though still relatively understated, cardboard shredders are an incredibly green and economic option for any shipping department (or anywhere else with packing and shipping needs) and are expected to gain popularity in coming years.  Know a place that might benefit from the use of cardboard shredders?  Tell them about cardboard shredding and help the environment too.

Check out all the cardboard shredders that Whitaker Brothers has to offer or call our sales team for more information on how cardboard shredders can benefit your business.

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