European Association of
fibre drum manufacturers

How to Recycle


FIBRE DRUMFibreboard is basically a natural product – it really does `grow on trees!’ These are fast‐growing soft wood trees grown in a sustainable manner, much like any other crop. At the end of a useful life as a protective packaging material, the fibreboard drum is ultimately biodegradable, and compostable.


Fibreboard can be a useful addition within a composting system, as one of the layers of material, used to sandwich compost together. It is very useful as it will add air to the whole of the compost pile. For this to be most effective, Fibreboard needs to be either soaked in water, or shredded prior to being added to a compost pile.


Fibreboard, in its shredded form, can also be used for animal bedding, buildings insulation, either in the roof void or between the walls and floor cavities. It has many uses as a reformed material following shredding and blending with other natural materials such as wood etc – even being used in the green marketplace for the manufacture of biodegradable coffins !


Used fibreboard drums can be easily re‐used for a number of applications – either to continue as
UN approved packaging (where certified) or a standard container for non Dangerous Goods or in a
wide variety of other uses such as robust storage bins for commercial and domestic products.


When no longer suitable as a container, fibre drums can be pressed in bales to increase the payload
on collection vehicles or they can be shredded as a pre‐treatment – both methods enabling either
materials re‐use, recycling or energy recovery.


For fibreboard drums manufactured with plastic and/or metal fittings, the used drum would be
cleaned, shredded and the materials separated through de-chimbing (cutting non-fibre rims off) or by the use of overhead conveyor magnets,
trommels and vibration screens with float‐sink tanks often used for separation of certain plastics
types. The sorted materials are then cleaned to ensure any remaining products / contaminants are
removed to allow materials recovery and recycling.


The separated material streams of Fibreboard, Metals and Plastics are all easily recycled and often warrant a useful value once processed in this
way. Even when all the re‐use and recycling options are exhausted, fibreboard remains an excellent
component for use in the developing area of waste to energy: creating fuels and power from waste
products. It releases twice as much heat per pound of waste, compared to a number of other
sources, yet doesn't release toxic poisons, and its only by‐product is ash.

Recent figures show that, across the member states of Europe, more than 35 million tonnes of paper
was recycled at an average value of €125.6 per tonne of which unbleached kraft (fibreboard)
formed approximately 29%

Contact Information

  • SEFFI 
  • Secretariat / Offices: 
  • Boval House
  • 24 Mount Parade
  • Harrogate 
  • North Yorkshire
  • HG1 1BX, United Kingdom
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