Types of Packaging Materials: What’s Right for Your Business? - Jamestown Container | Corrugated Packaging Solutions

Types of Packaging Materials: What’s Right for Your Business?

Finding the Right Fit for Your Product Packaging

With so many different types of packaging materials on the market, it can be difficult to determine what’s right for your organization. Each business will have its own unique needs for packaging, and we’re here to help you navigate this expansive space. We’ll go over two popular types of packaging materials on the market, plastic and corrugated cardboard, and the pros and cons of each. Let’s dive in.

Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Packaging

What is the Best Way to Store and Transport Your Product?

A fragile product will require a sturdy container while a heavy product might need extra durable material — like corrugated cardboard. In addition to fragility and weight, you should also think about what will keep your product fresh during shipment. Certain food products, for example, might require a unique kind of packaging to ensure it arrives safely.

What Do You Want the Customer Experience to Feel Like?

Many customers judge products by the quality of their packaging, so you should consider what they expect from your brand. Opting for custom-printed packaging can enhance the customer experience and make your product feel luxurious. In the long run, this will positively impact brand loyalty.

What are Your Brand Values?

More and more consumers are looking for brands that offer sustainable products. If your organization values sustainability, corrugated cardboard packaging might be the best choice.

Almost all corrugated boxes are made with material sourced from programs such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, and American Tree Farm System, which prioritize the sustainable use of paper and corrugated products. Additionally, Jamestown Container gets 100% recycled linerboard from the Greenpac Mill, which has one of the lowest amounts of paper mill landfill waste in the country. Using this paper allows us to achieve maximum performance and strength without sacrificing sustainability.

Common Types of Packaging Materials to Consider

The two most common and cost-effective types of packaging materials are plastic and corrugated cardboard. Which material you choose will depend on your goals and the products you’re shipping. Here, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each material.


Plastic is a cost-effective and long-lasting material that’s found in a wide variety of product packaging. It’s extremely durable and available in many forms. For example, you can form plastic into flexible material for food packaging, or use injection molding to create a sturdier container for something like detergents.

Though plastic packaging is convenient, it has a lot of drawbacks. It’s not environmentally friendly and can take hundreds of years to break down. With the anti-plastic movement ramping up, using this kind of material can put your business’ reputation at risk.

Many manufacturers make the argument that plastic can be recycled, which negates its negative impact on the environment. While plastic can be recycled, a vast majority of it still ends up in landfills. In short, plastic packaging is a great way to keep products fresh and undamaged during shipment, but the negative environmental impacts might turn customers away.

Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard is an extremely strong and cost-effective material used to ship a wide variety of materials. It’s durable and protective, which helps your products arrive at their destination undamaged. Additionally, it’s a sustainable material, unlike plastic.

The only con with corrugated cardboard is that it’s not weatherproof, meaning it can’t offer the same barrier properties as plastic. However, that doesn’t disqualify it from being used in certain applications. There are coatings that can be applied to corrugated material to make it more water-resistant, but nothing can make it completely waterproof.

Need Help Deciding on a Packaging Material?

If you’re on the fence about what kind of packaging material to use, the experts at Jamestown Container would love to help. We’ll get to know your needs and help you determine what’s right for your business.

With almost 70 years in the corrugated box industry, we know how to create the best solution for your brand. Since our inception, we’ve grown into a multi-facility, concept-to-finished-goods corrugated packaging supplier with an exceptional reputation for customer service and quick turnaround times. From simple brown shipping boxes to colorful retail packaging and displays, our expert team is able to help your business find the solution to any packaging challenge.

Reach Out to Jamestown Container Today

Let’s make something great together! Contact our team for an initial consultation.