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The afterlife of wood packaging

Wood remains a popular material across various industries with US$ 17.2 billion (EUR 15.4 billion) growth projected for the global wood packaging market between 2020 and 2025. According to market analysts at Technavio that is a compound annual growth rate of 4.7%.

Most wooden packaging, such as pallets or crates, can be recovered with recyclers ensuring the material is given a new destination in line with the circular economy. A popular example of this is wooden flooring, a market expected to be worth US$ 55.8 billion by 2026, up from US$ 43.2 billion in 2020. The Asia Pacific Region accounts for the biggest market share in this segment. Below are four other typical applications:

Particle board production

A large part of the remaining wood is used in the production of chipboards. First, metal, glass or plastic is removed from the wood. Metal objects such as screws are retrieved using magnets. The wood is then processed into panel material such as chipboard, oriented strand board (OSB) or medium density fibreboard (MDF). These sheet materials are commonly found in the construction, packaging and furniture industries and panels can also be recycled easily once they reach end-of-life.

Ground cover

Recovered wood can also be used in vegetable gardens and animal cages. Wood chips can be used as ground cover around crops and the sawdust can serve as a useful substrate in, for example, rabbit cages. You can decide yourself where you want to use recycled wood packaging as ground cover. No matter where you apply it, the wood chips will certainly look great! 

Furniture & home decor

Today, garden furniture or structures made of wood are very popular. There are many do-it-yourself guides on how to create anything from a table, bookshelf or stool to a bed frame. It’s also possible to transform the material into a fence or shed.  

Bio-energy

Wood can also be used generate bio-energy, power derived from biomass. In this case, the wood is pressed into pellets. Private stoves and professional incinerators are increasingly powered by this type of fuel.

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