To understand containerboard, we must take a couple steps back and take a look at the whole; a corrugated board is made from a flute between two other linerboards. All three layers of a corrugated sheet or box–as seen in the photo above–are created from containerboard.

Containerboard can be as wide as 2.5 meters, and when rolled up, its diameter reaches about 1.5 meters. With individual rolls weighing three to four tons each, more than 40 million short imperial tons of containerboard are made into corrugated sheets every year in North America. These huge rolls can be exported to different box-producing-plants, as well as regions in South and Central America, China, and Europe.

In North America, it takes about 10 tons of recycled corrugated boxes to produce 9 tons of containerboard–that’s a pretty effective recycling system! Recycled materials come from buying back discarded corrugated containers from grocery and retails stores as well as collecting materials from the curb in different regions after being used in the household. Material often contains tape, other plastics, metals, and styrofoam so they go through special cleaning equipment at the paper mill to ensure the end product is just recycled wooden fiber. Yet, some leftover foods make it much more difficult to recycle the product, so make sure the corrugated board you’re putting in your recycling box is as clean as possible!

1 For more information on flutes, please see.
2 Lanthier, Robert. Cascades