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  • Writer's pictureElliot Gray

Cardboard Boxes - the unsung Hero of the Packaging World

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

It will likely come as no surprise that cardboard boxes have long been one of our most popular products; largely thanks to their versality, durability, scalability, and most importantly, recyclability. In fact, the green credentials of the humble cardboard box have also cemented its position as the most widely recycled type of packaging in the world.

Despite the continued boom in plastic packaging alternatives, cardboard boxes still reign supreme when it comes to commercial packaging solutions, for businesses of all sizes. In this article, we take a look at the benefits of cardboard boxes, as well as why it looks like cardboard boxes are here to stay for the long term.


You might be surprised to learn that it wasn’t until the 1890s that the first cardboard box – featuring layers of corrugated cardboard – was developed, and by the early 1900s the relatively innovative material, was already starting to replace traditional wooden boxes and crates. The Kellogg Company was one of the first businesses to use cardboard boxes as cereal cartons – which they still use today.

Fast forward to 2022 and in the UK alone, around five billion corrugated boxes are used per year, which roughly equates to 83 boxes per person – this figure is only expected to rise by 4% annually!

Eco Credentials

Cardboard boxes are still one of the most environmentally friendly packaging solutions, and are usually made from old recycled cardboard; with no impact to durability or performance. Sourcing materials for cardboard – usually from softwood trees – is also an eco-friendly process with the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) ensuring forests are managed and maintained correctly to reduce any negative environmental impact during the manufacturing process.

In fact, in the EU alone, over 84% of corrugated cardboard is recycled every year, which means that the majority of boxes in circulation are most likely to have been made from recycled resources, including used boxes.

Business Solutions

However, cardboard boxes are not a ‘one size fits all’ commercial packaging solution, and there are a few things to consider when choosing the right option for your business. For example, the best size for products, as well as thickness – double wall boxes add an extra layer of protection, and are safer to stack without crushing, making it a good option for fragile items, or those being shipped long distances.

However, while cardboard boxes are sustainable in design, businesses also need to ensure this is matched with other sustainable packaging materials. For example, using paper tape and paper bubble wrap over plastic counterparts will help to ensure 100% of product packaging can be recycled by consumers.

Cardboard boxes will likely continue to reign supreme, with their simplicity and durability making the solution an ideal option for most businesses – big and small. We offer a range of cardboard boxes in all shapes and sizes, including bespoke options, so get in touch with our team today!

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