Can You Recycle Cardboard with Tape on It?

Can You Recycle Cardboard with Tape on It?

Here is a scenario for you: You love online shopping, and a lot of the products you buy come in cardboard boxes of different sizes. As soon as you get one, you bring out a handy box cutter to cut the tape right in the middle that seals the largest flaps of the box. The question is, when it’s time to recycle cardboard in Melbourne, can you recycle cardboard with tape on it?

It may initially seem like a trivial question, and many people we asked about this said yes. In truth, it is possible to recycle paper products with the tape still on them. However, your recycler will love you if you go out of your way to detach that tape from your cardboard before giving it to them for recycling purposes.

Why Do I Need to Remove Tape from Cardboard for Recycling?

The main reason is that tape is made out of plastic and adhesives. These materials are not as easily degradable as paper. Because of that, they could interfere with the whole recycling process. Here are other reasons why you should remove tape from the cardboard before sending it to a recycling facility:

1. Reduce Chances of Contamination

Every cardboard sent to be recycled goes through the pulping process, wherein they break down the paper fibres to create new products. If the facility does that with tape in the mix, it could contaminate the end product and reduce the quality of the recycled paper.

2. Maintain Paper Quality

Someone could argue that having plastic, a non-biodegradable material, could increase the quality of paper that comes out of the recycling process. But the opposite is the reality because bits of plastic and adhesive could turn into specks in the paper sheets and make the paper more prone to damage.

3. Boost Recycling Efficiency

Most machines used to recycle cardboard have been created to only deal with paper products. Thus, if you mix plastic with it, there’s a likelihood that it will cause machine downtime and other maintenance issues. Granted, more advanced machinery can now handle plastics, but it would still be better not to leave it all up to chance.

4. Minimise Waste Materials

Let’s say that your local council accepted your cardboard with tape on it, and they ended up bringing it to a recycling facility that could not handle cardboard with plastic and adhesive. If the discarded packaging has a minimal amount of tape, they might accept it and proceed with recycling. However, if the whole thing is covered in tape, they might deem it unacceptable and send it over to a landfill. That means you have contributed to the growing amount of waste materials in your region.

Final Thoughts

Any recycling program will emphasise how important it is to send over clean materials. It’s not only for faster recycling, but it’s also for ensuring that everything is recyclable. If you are still looking for a recycling company in Melbourne, contact us. We’d be glad to discuss it with you and give you a quote today.