By Sam Smith
October 11th 2022
Ever since cardboard was invented by M. Treverton & Son way back in 1817, it’s been used to package items (at first, lightweight items only!). Corrugated cardboard was patented in 1856 and was at first used to make tall hats, before the advantages of using it as a protection in packaging were discovered. Then, in 1890, pre-cut cardboard heralded the age of the cardboard box.
So cardboard has been one of the most commonly-used packaging materials for over two centuries, but why? What properties does it have and what benefits does it provide that make it especially good for packaging. Read on to find out more.
What are the properties of cardboard?
The properties of cardboard are the reasons why it’s such a good material to use for packaging.
Firstly, cardboard is durable. It’s made from wood pulp and fibres, which are very strong. This means that it doesn’t tear easily and it’s rigid, which are important qualities in a packaging material. Cardboard is also a good insulator. The corrugated layer traps air, which means the items in your cardboard box are better protected from the effects of high or low temperatures. Finally, even though cardboard is very strong, it’s also very light.
6 reasons cardboard is a good packaging material
Cardboard is a good packaging material for a number of different reasons. These are some of the benefits of using cardboard:
Cardboard is hard-wearing and long-lasting. It’s difficult to tear (as you’ll know if you’ve tried to break cardboard boxes down to put in your recycling box!). That means you can use cardboard boxes more than once, and they’ll maintain their sturdiness.
We’re often asked, “Is cardboard packaging sustainable?” and the answer is a resounding yes – cardboard is one of the most sustainable packaging options out there. That’s because it’s recyclable, which means you’re reducing waste to landfill, helping to prevent deforestation, and saving energy because it’s much more energy-intensive to create a material from scratch than it is to recycle existing materials.
Cardboard is an extremely affordable packaging material, especially if you’re buying it in bulk (at Smith Packaging, for example, we offer extra discounts when you buy multiple cardboard boxes).
And not only is it affordable to buy, cardboard is lightweight, which means that your shipping costs aren’t as high as if you were using a heavier packaging material.
Cardboard packaging can be completely customised. It can be made into all different shapes and sizes by cutting and folding it, and you can also print on it – cardboard can pretty much be whatever you want it to be!
This is especially advantageous to businesses that really want to ‘wow’ their customers with packaging that’s bespoke, unique, or personalised to them.
While cardboard packaging is fairly rigid, it can also be folded flat, which means it’s flexible enough to store or transport easily. After all, you would be able to fit a lot more cardboard boxes on a pallet when they’re flat-packed, as opposed to when they’re made up as boxes!
The last benefit of cardboard packaging is that it’s very strong. This means that it’s good at protecting the items inside your box, shouldn’t break down in transit, and will last a long time.
Why is cardboard packaging better than plastic?
Cardboard packaging has several advantages over plastic packaging. The clear one is the eco factor. Plastic takes a long time to decompose and isn’t always recyclable, while cardboard can be recycled or reused, and additionally doesn’t bring toxins into the environment.
Plastic is also a lot more energy-intensive to make than cardboard, especially if that cardboard has been recycled rather than being a virgin product.
Why buy cardboard packaging from Smith Packaging?
At Smith Packaging, we have given a lot of thought to our impact on the planet when it comes to cardboard packaging. Wherever possible, we’re striving to ensure all our packaging products are as eco-friendly as they can be.