Skip to main content

Lauren Sadler (MSc Sustainable Development, 2015) and her family business have saved ten million boxes in a year from being scrapped or recycled.

Alumna achieves Circular Economy success with cardboard waste scheme

Exeter alumna Lauren Sadler (MSc Sustainable Development, 2015), helped to prevent 10 million cardboard boxes from going to waste in 2021 by encouraging giants of the manufacturing world to divert their used boxes to reuse.

Working alongside her father Mike, uncle Rob and cousins Gavin and Jordan at family company Sadlers, the team have been able to combine their skills and vast wealth of knowledge to reach the milestone of saving ten million boxes in a year from being scrapped or recycled.

Standard recycling, whereby boxes are baled, pulped and remanufactured, requires vast amounts of water, energy, and virgin wood fibre which is added to strengthen the material. Reuse prevents this waste; cardboard boxes are collected, sorted by hand and shipped out again with no requirement for mechanical processing.

Lauren uses her background in marketing along with her master’s in sustainability to engage with key stakeholders and educate them about circular solutions to waste problems. Her work in raising awareness of reuse led to the company winning the Circular Economy Success category at the prestigious Awards for Excellence in Recycling & Waste Management last summer.

Lauren says: “During my research into behavioural change and the climate crisis I discovered some key techniques to nudge people into action. My research focused on community groups and individuals, so applying and adapting these principles to corporate structures is an interesting challenge.

For years the waste management industry has been focused intently on recycling as the pinnacle of success in achieving zero waste to landfill, but the tides are turning. Companies are waking up to the fact that we need circular solutions, and cardboard box reuse is one of the finest examples of that.”

You can follow Lauren on Linkedin to learn more.

Date: 26 January 2022

Read more University News