So it turns out that . . . not all paperboard is the same!. Boxes from frozen food shouldn't go in with the paper recycling. Why not?
Ok, *why* can't I recycle this frozen food box with other types of paperboard-- like cereal boxes? They may seem like really similar material. Yeah, but actually the material used to make frozen food boxes is called “wet strength” paperboard, which, as the name suggests, keeps its structural integrity and still looks good even if it gets damp. Well, so what? Does that really make a difference for recycling? Yes, actually! So it turns out that in order to make wet-strength paperboard, thin layers of plastic and/or chemicals might be added to make the paper resistant to water. Meanwhile, paper recycling begins with adding paper to water in order to make pulp. Basically, the wet strength cardboard has been specifically designed NOT to pulp easily. Long story short, if it keeps the water out, keep it out of the recycling cart.
Tags: So it turns out that . . . not all paperboard is the same!, paperboard, wet strength paper, sunnyvale, SMaRT Station, recycling