Are Cardboard boxes toxic?
Cardboard boxes have made their way in our everyday lives. They have become a necessity in the packaging sector. Use of custom boxes is increasing day by day. Any type of packaging seems incomplete without it. Businesses have become so inclined towards their use that they can’t even think of packaging without them. No doubt, custom packaging boxes offer a number of advantages but recently a research has been conducted which has changed the view of manufacturers. The research concluded that the recycled cardboard boxes are toxic to some extent and they give rise to health issues. According to a Swedish scientific research, the health issues may vary from minor to serious depending upon the nature of packaging made from recycled paper.
Presence of Mineral Oils in Recycled Cardboard:
The custom boxes made from cardboard contain some percentage of mineral oils which is toxic for health. As cardboard is a highly recyclable material so almost 70% of the new cardboard is made from recycled paper. These mineral oils exist in newspaper ink which survives the recycling process. The food packaging made from such cardboard effects the products inside. It leaks into the food like breakfast cereals, biscuits, pasta, crackers, and grains. Even these toxins were found to pass through inner plastic bags. The more the food boxes stay on the shelf, the more chances to mineral oils to penetrate through.
A Food Safety Laboratory in Zurich tested 119 products. These products were taken from German supermarkets. It was concluded that almost 90 custom printed boxes contained a higher percentage of mineral oils than a normal level. The lab made a toxicological testing of these mineral oils on rat and found serious health consequences. In the U.S.A, recycled cardboard is the main packaging material among various food manufacturers as there had been a number of issues relating to the use of plastics. Although cardboard is much stable and safer than plastics, after the research on toxins into the food, it had become a matter of concern for various manufacturers.
Recycled Cardboard is good for Earth, but maybe bad For Health:
Although the recycling of cardboard is good for the environment it may prove bad for health. The use of recycled custom packaging boxes can ensure environmental sustainability and reduce carbon footprints. But sometimes this process ends up in producing consequences which no one has expected. After the BBC report on research conducted in Zurich, some of the famous cereal companies of U.K ended the use of recycled cardboard in its product packaging. Such steps can remove the problem to some extent but not completely. A lead researcher named Koni Grob said that since the food boxes need to store in large cartons which contain recycled newspaper content so the problem can’t be eliminated entirely.
Paper Based Food Containers proved Toxic:
Another test was conducted in Italy on the custom boxes used to take away containers for fast food like pizza. It was concluded that it also break the safety rules. Plasticizers were present in the boxes as they contain some of the content of recycled cardboard. Recycling the paper is a great goal but it also leads to some problems. Even when the original paper is loaded with inks and other adhesives, they pass to the next recycled material. If such material is used to make custom printed boxes for food items, it gets exposed to such chemicals. Such chemicals are usually found in the inks and other substances used for printing.
Major Brands are taking Action:
To avoid such contamination, custom boxes used for food items should be made from the non-recycled material. As a result, many leading brands attempt to change their packaging to overcome the health issues. A work on a large scale has started to stop packing the food boxes in cardboard packaging which may contain the mineral oils. Popular brands like Kellogg’s are working with its wholesale suppliers to find another alternative. Weetabix is exploring such a recycled packaging which is free from recycled newspaper.