If you’re not already familiar with corrugated, we’ll give you a rundown on what it is, how it’s made, and why it’s the best packaging option for you and your products. Those not in the packaging industry typically get corrugated and cardboard confused with one another. While they both look similar and seem to accomplish the same tasks, the two materials are actually quite different in structure and purpose.
A cardboard carton is made of thick paper stock or heavy paper-pulp. A great example of a cardboard carton is a cereal box, whereas corrugated cartons are much stronger and made up of a few layers of material rather than just a single sheet. The three layers consist of an inside liner, an outside liner, and a fluted medium that goes between the two.
For more information on what a corrugated box is, refer to our blogs A Beginner’s Guide to Corrugated Boxes and What Are Corrugated Boxes? The Different Uses and Types of Corrugated Packaging.
Benefits of Using Corrugated as a Packaging Option
Sustainability, Recyclability, and Reusability
Corrugated, which is made predominantly from trees (a renewable resource), is the most recovered packaging material on the planet. It is sustainably manufactured from trees and old recovered corrugated containers with an industry recovery rate that sits right around 90% over the last eight years and 96 percent in 2018 per Corrugated.org. The fiber that is recovered is recycled in order to make new boxes as well as additional paper products. This is why the average corrugated box is made up of 50 percent recycled content.
Plastic, another popular packaging material, is recovered at only about 15 percent, compared to an all-time overall recovery rate of about 78 percent for corrugated.
The latest corrugated industry life cycle assessment (LCA) released in June of 2017 confirmed environmental progress through increased efficiency in mill energy systems, increased recovery for recycling, and the use of low-impact fossil fuels. The LCA also found that corrugated packaging recovery reduced the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent from 2006–2014 by keeping corrugated out of landfills. Methane emissions from landfills are a significant contributor to global warming.
The recycling of corrugated material has a direct and significant impact on the health of our planet. It leads to a decrease in solid waste disposal. Recycled fiber is reused to make new corrugated packaging without having to use all-new raw material. Because old corrugated containers (OCCs) are a valuable resource to both paper mills and manufacturers of new corrugated, it can also be a revenue generator.
In addition to being a renewable material, corrugated can also be reused. Its durability and flexibility allow for it to be used multiple times prior to getting recycled to create new packaging.
Corrugated is often used for shipment of consumer goods. When you order something online, it’s likely that your product will arrive in a corrugated box. So next time you receive your order, take the box, put it away, and store it for reuse in the future. If you need it again in the future, all you need to do is reassemble it and tape it, and you once again have a reliable box for use. Corrugated boxes are great for moving and can easily be used to transport your belongings from one place to another. In addition to moving, they’re also effective when it comes to storage, and can even be used to re-ship your own items if they’re in good enough condition.
If you’re interested in learning more about the sustainability of corrugated, check out our blog Sustainable Corrugated Packaging: How to Reuse and Recycle Properly.
The most important thing your packaging should ensure is the safety of your product. Nothing else matters if your customer receives your product and it’s been damaged or broken. A custom corrugated box can ensure that your product makes it from point A to point B safely. Corrugated packaging also allows you to incorporate additional packaging materials such as foam to ensure your product’s safety. To get a better idea of how foam can make your packaging stronger and more efficient, read our blog The Guide to the Benefits of Foam Packaging.
There aren’t many packaging options that allow you to uniquely customize your packaging specifically for your product. Corrugated allows you to do so. You can customize your packaging with your product’s look and feel kept in mind. One-size-fits-all packaging is a thing of the past. Whether it’s packaging for retail or e-commerce, properly showcase your product to your desired customer base with corrugated packaging.
Printing and Graphic Capabilities
Corrugated allows you to incorporate graphics into your packaging, and what better way to capture a customer’s attention than via custom graphics? Graphics help draw customers to your product and away from your competitors. They also allow you to increase your brand awareness. Four common graphic options to choose from include litho labeling, digital print, direct print, and combined graphics. You can learn all about these different types of graphic options and more by reading our blog on How Implementing a Custom Retail Packaging Solution Can Benefit Your Business.
E-commerce and Retail Packaging
Do you need an e-commerce or retail packaging option? If so, then corrugated is just what you’re looking for.
Attracting a customer’s eye is a big challenge for retail businesses, but it’s also extremely important. With only a few seconds to make an impact on a consumer, your product packaging needs to stand out. With a custom corrugated package, you can do just that as it’s capable of being uniquely designed for your product, it secures your product for retail placement, and it raises the consumer perception of your product’s value.
As for e-commerce, custom corrugated packaging allows you to deliver a strong first impression with your customers from the very beginning. With a custom corrugated package, you can ensure that your customer is impressed as soon as they encounter your brand. Studies have shown a strong correlation between the design of product packaging and a customer’s perceived value of that product.
Ready to Switch Your Packaging Option to Corrugated?
If you’re ready to make the move to corrugated, let us know. For more than 60 years, Jamestown Container has been helping companies use corrugated packaging and other materials to better connect with their customers, and become more sustainable and profitable. Are you ready to do the same? Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you do the same.