When it comes to packaging solutions, cardboard is one of the most highly used materials in the industry. Lightweight, cost-effective, versatile, and typically recyclable, cardboard has numerous packaging uses, from cardboard display stands and package backing to custom boxes and tubes. Available in many varieties, cardboard offers a plethora of benefits, making it suitable across a diverse range of industries for both company and consumer.
Types of Cardboard
Cardboard generally refers to heavy-duty paper-based products that are stronger, more rigid, and more durable than simple paper. Different types of cardboard have their unique qualities and applications:
- Single Face Board. Single face board is a corrugated cardboard material with two layers: one smooth, flat outer liner and an inner layer of fluting. This type of cardboard is primarily used as cushioning on the inside of a package.
- Single Wall Double Face Board (3-ply). This is a corrugated cardboard material with two flat sides and a fluted piece in between. These are common for shipping and packaging a number of products, though the size of the fluting may vary depending upon the weight or fragility of the items inside the box.
- Double Wall Board with AB Flute (5-ply). This type of corrugated cardboard consists of two fluted layers, with a flat piece in between the fluting and two flat pieces on the outsides. It’s more durable than the 3-ply version, and the letters refer to the thickness of the fluting. A is thickest at 3/16″ and is the most common choice for shipping. The thinnest is E fluting at 1/16″.
- Mat Board. This multi-ply fiberboard is used in picture frame matting. It has at least one smooth side and is often used for cardboard circuits.
- Paperboard. Available in various thicknesses, this single-ply cardboard (also referred to as carton or chipboard) is commonly used for cereal boxes, the backs of notebooks, and toilet paper rolls.
Benefits of Packaging with Cardboard
As a packaging material, cardboard is a popular choice for a lot of reasons. It offers a lower carbon footprint across the board when compared to plastic. It is also more durable than paper while being far lighter and more cost-effective than metal or wood. Other benefits include:
- Versatile. Available in any size or configuration, cardboard packaging can be folded, printed, coated, or treated. It is tear-resistant and can withstand some rough handling, making it suitable for shipping as well as storage. Cardboard comes in a variety of innovative box designs, giving people multiple ways to use them.
- Ideal for Branding. You can easily print your designs directly onto cardboard, or use adhesives to make the box your own. This is not only great for marketing purposes, but it also creates a better experience for consumers.
- Recyclable. Almost all cardboard is recyclable, and it uses about one-quarter less energy to recycle cardboard than it does to make new cardboard. Recycled cardboard is every bit as strong and durable as a new piece, so the same box can be recycled and used again and again.
- Green. Most cardboard today is produced with trees that are grown and logged sustainably, and about 70% of commercial shipping boxes are recovered and recycled, reducing overall waste generation. Cardboard that is thrown away can decompose in about three months if conditions are right, where plastic can take hundreds or even thousands of years.
- Cost-Effective. Typically more affordable than plastic packaging solutions, cardboard is also easy to store—it can often be kept flat until the box is ready to fold and assemble for packaging and shipping. This saves money on storage space and allows you to order larger quantities of cardboard at a time to take advantage of volume discounts.
Cardboard packaging is used for several applications. Industries such as food and beverage, electronics, fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, pharmaceutical, cleaning supplies, and many more rely on cardboard for shipping, storing, and retail display purposes. To suit the needs of various applications, there are several types of cardboard packaging solutions, including:
- Die-Cut. Die-cut cardboard boxes are easy to customize and can be precisely reproduced. They’re easy to assemble, as the tabs and slots you need are already there. Die-cut cardboard boxes are particularly useful for complex packaging designs for shelf-ready packaging.
- Folding. Folding cardboard boxes are standard boxes with flaps that fold together at the top and can be sealed with tape. Suitable for packaging small or large, fragile or strong, and heavy or lightweight products, folding cardboard boxes come in a range of sizes to accommodate various packaging needs.
- Shelf-Ready. Shelf-ready cardboard boxes are used to safely transport products from suppliers to retailers. Retailers can simply open the box for perfect display of the merchandise. Shelf-ready cardboard boxes are easily identified, assembled, sold, and disposed of.
- Pre-Cut. Cardboard pre-cuts can be used to divide layers of products within a box or as additional padding or protection.
- Large Format. Large format cardboard boxes are used to ship, display, and sell lage products such as televisions, furniture, and more.
- Slip Lid. Slip lid, or telescope, cardboard boxes consist of a lid and base. The lid slips completely over the base to close the box, which can be further secured with tape or glue.
- Shipping. Shipping boxes are often made of corrugated cardboard for increased durability and protection when shipping goods to the end user. Available in various shapes and sizes, cardboard shipping boxes can be printed with company branding and information.
- Sales. Products are purchased in this type of packaging, which can be branded and printed with the product information and branding material. Everything from toys and small appliances to glassware and other home goods utilize this type of cardboard packaging.
Cardboard is also used as backing for products sealed in plastic, toppers for plastic pouches, and cardboard display stands. For shipping, marketing, and selling, custom cardboard packaging is a go-to solution for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and more.
Cardboard Packaging Solutions from Econo-Pak
Cardboard packaging offers various advantages compared to other materials, making it one of the most popular packaging materials across many industries. When choosing a cardboard packaging solution, it is important to consider factors such as size, weight, fragility, and value of the product you’re packaging.
At Econo-Pak, we have more than 30 years of experience in the packaging of food, liquids, powders, and more. With over 200,000 square-feet of production space equipped with various equipment, we have the flexibility and skills to ensure high-quality packaging solutions designed to get your products to market quickly and efficiently. To learn more about our capabilities, or to get started on your custom cardboard packaging solution, contact us or request a quote today.