Environmentally Responsible Packaging

Corrugated Recycles

Our Foundation: Responsibly Managed Corrugated Packaging

Corrugated packaging is an extraordinary recycling success story, and Great Northern is proud to be a part of it.

The environmental management of corrugate is a focused, full-circle process that starts before the package is manufactured and continues after it is used and recovered for reuse.

Before the Box

Made from a natural renewable resource, corrugated packaging has an impressive environmental record that comes full circle every day. Starting from its material source, corrugated packaging is typically manufactured using high percentages of recovered fiber that includes used corrugated containers and packaging, newspapers, and mixed paper, thereby diverting these materials from the municipal solid waste stream.

After the Box

Once manufactured into packaging and in use, corrugated packaging is recycled in the U.S. at a rate of 96% – more than any other packaging material.

Recovered corrugated boxes are used to make new paper products. In 2018, more than 50% of recovered corrugated was used to make new containerboard for more corrugated boxes. Additionally, 10.4% was used to make boxboard for primary packaging like cereal boxes and more than 34% was exported.

Efficiencies continue with each package design

  • For each packaging opportunity, Great Northern’s packaging designers proactively look for ways to optimize packaging and reduce materials and waste. We also incorporate 100% recyclable materials whenever possible within our packaging solutions.
  • Additionally, water-based inks are now used almost exclusively for printing graphics on corrugated containers, avoiding the use of lead-based inks and solvents.
  • Great Northern offers environmentally responsible custom packaging for temperature-sensitive products and protective packaging solutions. These products are designed to be used in their final state which provides long-term benefits for our planet.

Customers can feel good that they are choosing a packaging solution that proactively manages the environmental aspect of each stage of the package process – from the managed forestlands, to the high recycling and recovery rates of the industry. Customers can also be assured of Great Northern’s commitment to optimize each packaging solution to support environmentally responsible packaging.


Since day one, Great Northern has been an industry leader in the development and manufacturing of sustainable packaging. Our approach to sustainability focuses on designing every component of a product package in an environmentally responsible way – including the types and amounts of material used, the process employed in production, and the methods of transport delivery. Learn more about our environmental efforts in our Corporate Social Responsibility report.

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Video: Safely Delivering Goods to Customers


Check out the video below from the Fibre Box Association (FBA): Corrugated Packages – Safely delivering goods to customers worldwide.

Great Expectations

Great Expectations is more than a tagline, it is an attitude. At Great Northern, customer challenges are met by an undying spirit to doing what others can’t or won’t. It’s in our DNA. And it is what our customers have come to expect with Great Northern.

How can we exceed your expectations?