Wal-Mart Turns Stores' Cardboard Waste Into Packaging

Wal-Mart is turning cardboard waste collected from its stores into boxes for its private-label take and bake pizzas.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart here is turning cardboard waste collected from its stores into boxes for its private-label take and bake pizzas.

The system reduces costs while creating a more durable box, according to the retailer.

After being bailed by employees and sent to partner Pratt Industries, the cardboard is turned into pulp, and the pulp is made into liner board, a thick, brown wrapping paper that gets tested for contaminants before it’s shipped to Pratt’s box plant. There the paper is fed into a corrugator and it becomes cardboard. It’s then cut and assembled into boxes.

“Quite literally this program we’re partnering with Wal-Mart on is groundbreaking, it’s doing something that’s rarely been done before, if ever,” said Myles Cohen, president of the recycling division for Pratt Industries.

“We’ve totally and literally closed the loop using a retailer’s own boxes to go through a paper mill and then to make corrugated boxes out of those same things again is something that’s the future.”

The ultimate goal of the project is to produce all of the boxes with cardboard supplied by Wal-Mart. The measure will divert 8,600 tons of waste from landfills, save 125,000 trees and 40 million gallons of water, according to Wal-Mart.

Read More of Today's Headlines [2]