Moving Boxes: Plastic or Cardboard?

| November 23, 2012 | 0 Comments

Moving Boxes EcofirendlyIf you’re organizing a move, you may be wondering what kind of moving boxes you should use, especially if you’re concerned about your environmental footprint. To help you make that decision, I’ve asked Jamie Kingsbury, President of, to explain the differences.

Claims Made By Plastic Moving Box Companies:

“Traditional moving supplies are harmful to the environment”

“Eco-friendly alternative to cardboard moving boxes.”

“superior to cardboard in all three areas: affordability, convenience and environmental impact!”

“minimize human impact on the environment is to create sustainable solutions that are cost effective and convenient too.”

“carbon footprint much lower than using cardboard moving boxes”

“A cardboard box won’t stand up in the rain.”

Let’s Take A Closer Look at Plastic Moving Box “Eco-friendly” Claims:

Plastic moving boxes are constructed of High Density Polyethylene HDPE which is made from environmentally hazardous oil based petroleum products.

14.52 pounds of oil is used to make just one 8.4 pound plastic moving box.

8 times more energy is used to produce one plastic moving box than is needed to produce one recycled cardboard moving box of equivalent size.

2X more harmful, polluting carbon diesel emissions are pumped into the air we breathe, delivering AND picking up plastic moving boxes. Twice the amount of driving mileage, often times more, is required to deliver and pick up plastic moving boxes.

Renting plastic moving boxes is expensive, costing you up to 70% more than owning reusable cardboard moving boxes.

Divert; don’t distract. Removing recycled and recyclable cardboard moving boxes from the recycling chain is a VERY BAD IDEA. Remember, cardboard boxes are made from 65-100% post-consumer recycled materials. If 1.9 billion recycled cardboard moving boxes were not to be produced in North America every year, millions upon millions of tonnes of recyclable post-consumer waste destined for the production of new recycled cardboard boxes ends up being dumped directly into landfills.

moving boxesPlastic is not a natural, sustainable or renewable natural resource, therefore plastic moving boxes are not an eco-friendly alternative to renewable, recyclable cardboard moving boxes.

Expensive ongoing weekly rental fees add up quickly. Moving is stressful and expensive enough without piling on weekly moving box rental costs.

Plastic moving boxes are not convenient. They’re large, difficult to handle and carry, and extremely heavy when packed.

Valuable time is wasted waiting hours for delivery AND pick up.

Rental contracts on their terms not your terms. Added headaches and restrictions.

Local rentals only. Unless you’re moving to a city with a branch or depot forget it.

One size plastic moving box to rent. One size doesn’t fit all. Nor should it.

16% of landfills consist of plastic. Once plastic moving boxes reach their end or break they end up in landfills forever. Plastic takes up to 1000 years to degrade in landfills.

Plastic moving boxes are not waterproof. If left in the rain plastic moving boxes will gradually fill with water soaking its entire contents. Who leaves packed cardboard or plastic moving boxes in the rain anyway? Seriously? Simply silly.

Sure plastic moving boxes are reusable, but not by you. Unless of course you plan on renting them week after week after week or until your next move in five years or more, costing you thousands of dollars, making someone else rich. Then return your rented plastic moving boxes with nothing to show for it except empty pockets. Ownership has its privileges.

Lastly, it’s gross but true: Rented and used moving boxes are a prime host for bed bugs and other unwanted critters. The risk of inviting bedbugs and other contaminants into your home increases immensely when renting used plastic or previously used cardboard moving boxes. Who knows who rented the plastic moving boxes before you, how hygienic and clean they were, or what was put in them prior to you renting them?

Plastic Moving Boxes Are Not Nearly As Eco-friendly As They Want You To Believe.

Simply because a plastic moving box is colouredWardrobe box green, has a cute little corporate mascot, or is branded as environmentally or Eco-friendly does not make it so. Smart shoppers dig deeper.

Don’t get trapped in the “Rent & Rush” cycle. It will cost you.

Plastic is not a naturally occurring substance nor is it a renewable resource. Plastic moving boxes are constructed and manufactured with environmentally harmful oil, other petroleum based products and toxic chemicals. A very large amount of carbon is emitted into the air we breathe during the creation of plastic. Approximately 8 per cent of world oil production is used to make plastics. This equates to approximately 720 million barrels of oil per year used to make plastic products. Plastic manufacturing by-products and waste materials are often dumped into tar ponds, where they can sit for hundreds of years, potentially leaching into surrounding forests and green space and further polluting the environment.

When you dig a little deeper, plastic moving boxes are not nearly as green or eco-friendly as we’re lead to believe.

We’re not claiming to be environmental angels. We are well aware that the manufacturing of paper and cardboard has its ill effects as well. Ask yourself: which has a greater impact from cradle to grave?

Cardboard moving boxes are from the earth to the earth. Our cardboard moving boxes are constructed with natural, sustainable, renewable, reusable resources complimented by a high percentage of post-consumer recycling.

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