With the massive growth of the greetings card industry over the last few years, the card buying public have a moral obligation to recycle as many of these greeting cards as possible. By doing so they will help the environment and at the same time hopefully alter their mind set towards recycling.
Greetings cards are traditionally displayed for several days up to and after the event that they are celebrating. In the past when the event is over, the greeting cards were simply gathered up and thrown into the trash. Now however there is a trend to try and recycle these cards where ever possible.
The cards should be taken to your local recycling point and sent to the paper mills for recycling. Most shopping malls now have paper recycling bins and it is easy to put the cards into one of these bins when you go shopping.
Before taking the cards to be recycled you should check them and remove anything on the cards that cannot be recycled. If any of the greetings cards are musical cards, you should tear off any bits of metal before recycling the card. The paper mills also do not like cards with lots of glitter on them; their sieves become blocked when trying to recycle these cards.
When you get to the recycling bin, you should remove any plastic from the cards as this makes it much easier to process the cards at the paper mill. The cards are then taking to a recycling plant for sorting. Usually they will be put over a sorting conveyor where they will be manually sorted and any non paper items removed.
After sorting, the greetings cards are compacted up into large bales and stacked waiting to be transported to the paper mill. When there are enough to make a full load, they are loaded onto a vehicle and taken away for recycling. On arrival at the paper mills, the bales of cards are inspected to check that they are of the correct quality. If the load is accepted, the bales are unloaded and turned back into paper pulp.
A bale has its wires cut and is placed on a conveyor and sent into the pulping machine. During the pulping process all non paper items are sieved out of the material and the rest is turned into pulp. The pulp then has all of the water removed and is then ready to be used again. Most pulp from recycled greetings cards is turned into toilet paper.
When you are next out shopping, have a look at the toilet paper in the shops and look to see which brands are made from recycled paper. It is quite possible that some of them have been made from the process of recycling your greetings cards.
Andrew Gibson is MD of Greeting-Cards.com. It has thousands of free ecards to choose from for birthdays and all occasions. Many people now send free e-cards to celebrate birthdays and select them from thousands of free e-cards