Knowing is half the battle of a whole lot of things and especially when it comes to the environment. I am learning that 2021 is not going to be much different than the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and that all the extra eCommerce companies are going to make cardboard even worse for the environment this year. This year has brought on many thoughts that would not normally be brought to mind. The Covid 19 pandemic has changed our entire way of life in the United States and most likely the world as a whole. Our economies have in many ways been shut down temporarily. The way of providing certain products has actually been changed entirely. The ability to go to a store and pick up items has been limited and people are now purchasing more and more online. This has brought the use of cardboard to an all-time high. I myself have a garage full of cheap moving boxes now due to all the excess items I have ordered. They have all arrived in oversized cardboard boxes. So I had wondered where these lovely cheap moving boxes originated from. When was cardboard created and where was it created? Does it even matter on days such as this?
The more I was interested the more I decided I wanted to know what was helping bring the ned of the world. After a quick search, I have discovered that cardboard began its life in China. It began as taking thick amounts of paper and smashing it together to create packaging material. This was not just a hundred years ago but back in the 17th century. It has a long-lasting history that dates back longer than I believed it would. Now it is known as the most frequently used packaging material in the world and has been of over a century. It has been used for most retail and wholesale items which all usually have a component of cardboard in them. It is amazing to note that it took Europe 200 years to start using it after it was created in China. This is most likely due to the lack of simple transportation back in those days. The fact that it came from China was almost funny, but they are an industrial monstrosity now and it is due justice.
Times have changed, but the product has also evolved as well. Now cardboard was not actually called cardboard until recently. Its first actual mention in history by that title is in 1848. The novel, “ The Tenant of Wildfell Hall written by Anne Bronte was the first ever to write about it. Her book is now a part of history for being the first to ever mention the name cardboard. It was not till the 19th century that cardboard became a worldwide phenomenon. It was discovered that it could be easily molded into specific shapes and that it had the capability to hold a lot of weight for its own mass. Hence it became more economical to make packaging supplies out of cardboard due to its qualities. Now it is commercially one of the most important products used and will most likely be for the foreseeable future.
It is only growing and the Pandemic has allowed it to thrive even more. I can only hope we are being wise in our efforts to help the environment with our use.