280 miles from our shop in Warren, Newman & Company Inc is on the front lines of sustainable packaging materials. Every day at their facility in Philadelphia, tons of discarded paper is transformed into pristine sheets of premium, durable chipboard. It’s a painstaking alchemy involving serious machinery and manpower. The vital product that Newman creates is essential not only to box manufacturers in Rhode Island but also crucial to the sanitation and sustainability of the greater Philadelphia area.
The First Step in Sustainable Packaging Materials
Newman & Company produces a whopping 65,000 tons of paperboard for annually. That’s not from virgin trees, but from recycled newspaper, folding cartons, cardboard, and more. They receive paper from municipalities, businesses, and folks looking to get rid of their excess cardboard and newspaper to turn into sustainable packaging materials. The paperboard products they produce, such as durable chipboard, are 100% recycled and 100% recyclable.
The process starts with bales of recycled paper fed into a hydrapulper which converts the solid paper into pulp. Superheated water creates a soupy slurry out of the paper solids. Then, using a centrifugal action, the pulp is cleaned for contaminating particles of metal, glass, plastic, and otherwise. From there, the pulp is subjected to further cleaning and is built up into several piles of thickness per the specific grade of chipboard being produced. Finally, the brand new solid material is dried, pressed, and cut into sheets of premium chipboard used for sustainable packaging materials.
Like Taylor Box, Newman is a family operation that dates back nearly a century. From humble beginnings as salvagers of scrap paper, the Newman family has gone on to become proprietors of their own paper mill and one of the leading manufacturers of paperboard in the US. The fourth generation of Newmans run the factory with a fifth generation eagerly waiting in the wings.
Newman & Company Inc supplies Taylor Box with all of our chipboard. We also use quality paperboard stock like those made by Eska, but Newman is our sole partnered supplier of chipboard. We make our share of wood frame boxes, but rigid boxes constructed of chipboard comprise a sizable chunk of what we do.
The Basis of Sustainable Packaging Materials
Chipboard is incredibly resilient. It’s about as sturdy as paper gets. And it’s almost always recyclable, which creates a closed loop of sustainability. Chipboard starts out as a recycled material but can also end up right back in the recycling bin to start the process all over again. The Newman family proudly claims “No tree has ever been cut to make a Newman product.”
Maybe people would be more encouraged to recycle if they knew that their disposed paper could go on to be something awesome. Or the exacting efforts that hard-working folks like those at Newman & Company go through to sort and separate our recyclables. It’s thankless, sometimes even dangerous work that could be made a lot easier with a little conscientious effort.