Plastic packaging vs Corrugated cardboard - which should I use?

Plastic packaging vs Corrugated cardboard - which should I use?

Both corrugated cardboard and plastic are extremely popular packaging materials. But the two materials have several differences including; the way they are manufactured,  the protection they provide certain products, and their impact on the environment.

It is important to be aware of the difference between the two when choosing the packaging solution for your products and business.

So, let’s start with plastic packaging.

Plastic is made from fossil fuels, which is a non-renewable source. To produce plastic packaging, oil and gas molecules are chemically bonded and then moulded into various forms such as; bottles, bags, containers etc.

Plastic packaging is used for several different reasons such as: 

  • It’s safe- Plastic is shatter resistant.
  • It’s hygienic- Plastic protects products such as food and medical services from contamination.
  • It’s versatile- Plastic can be moulded and transformed into many different shapes, colours, and sizes. 
  • It’s durable- Plastic packaging can be very thin which means it takes up less space when being transported.
  • It’s lightweight- Plastic packaging is very lightweight which means lighter loads for transports. 

However, by now you will be aware of some of the harmful effects plastic pollution is having on our environment. The numbers and statistics are growing day by day but every single year, eight million metric tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans. By 2025, the United Nations predicts that there will be more plastic waste in the ocean than fish!


 

As a result of this, consumers and businesses are becoming more aware when purchasing packaging and making decisions that may harm the environment. Conscious consumers are now willing to pay up to 10% more for sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging. 

Although plastic is affordable, versatile, and economical from a business perspective the consumer demand for a more sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative is increasing day by day. This takes us nicely onto talking about corrugated cardboard and what it has to offer in the packaging industry. 

Corrugated cardboard is manufactured from a renewable source and composed of paper that comes from timber. Corrugated cardboard is assembled from three layers of paper, an outer and inner layer with the third sheet ruffled into waves and also known as the flute. Around 70% of the fibres used to make this paper come from paper collected for recycling, along with the remaining 30% coming from birch or pine pulp, or from virgin wood fibre.

Corrugated cardboard is used for a number of different reasons such as:

  • It’s sustainable and reusable- Corrugated cardboard is sustainable, reusable, biodegradable, and recyclable. Making it the perfect choice for a sustainable packaging solution.
  • It’s protective- The added layer structure of a corrugated cardboard box makes it stronger than your average cardboard box. This means that the strength of this material provides a protective package for your products. The size of a corrugated cardboard box can differ depending on its thickness. 
  • It’s lightweight- Although corrugated cardboard is extremely strong, its strength does not add any extra weight. The lightweight of these materials means you won’t have to pay any extra in shipping costs and is very easy to transport.
  • It’s flexible- It is important that packaging is flexible to your needs and corrugated cardboard is used to pack a wide range of products this makes them extremely flexible.
  • It provides great branding opportunities- It is easy to customise which means you can have custom packaging which showcases your brand and business. Custom branding is a great way to impress your customers and look more professional. 

Although we may be a bit biased, we know the capabilities and advantages of corrugated cardboard can be extremely beneficial to your business. If you are looking to make the switch to corrugated packaging or searching for suitable packaging for the first time, we are here to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

We have an easy-to-use box finder that allows you to find the right size, thickness, and packaging that suits your needs and specific requirements. 
If you cannot find the right sized box for your needs, you can contact our design and sales team. They can help you with bespoke boxes that are going to be suitable for your requirements.