How are businesses maximizing corrugated packaging?
All over the world businesses are exploring new options when it comes to packaging. And corrugated paper and board packaging is a highly attractive option for many companies – not only does this offer a more cost-effective alternative, but it’s a more environmentally friendly packaging choice.
As an increasing number of businesses are choosing to invest in corrugated packaging, how is this changing the manufacturing processes of some of the world’s biggest brands? And what’s more, how will this shift impact quality control processes moving forward?
Why are brands switching to corrugated packaging?
Clearly, sustainability is a big reason. But if this is the case, it’s important to check that the forests the materials are sourced from are managed sustainably too.
Another big eco-friendly factor is the fact that corrugated box fiber can be used seven to eight times to make new boxes or other paper products. But to truly maximize this benefit, businesses and manufacturers need to think about the materials it may be used in conjunction with.
There are many ways that corrugated can streamline your packaging manufacturing line:
- High density (a good strength to weight ratio) – perfect for cutting shipping costs
- Low costs in comparison to alternatives
- Inherent impact and vibration protection
- Plenty of printable surface space for logos, graphics etc.
- Made from a highly scalable medium
- An easy to modify composition to accommodate different protection levels
Brands paving the way for corrugated
Corrugated paper and board has been disrupting the packaging world recently – especially when it comes to food and beverage and pharmaceuticals, partly driven by that printable surface area – but there’s still a long way to go when it comes to market share, although it seems as though that’s set to change. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the corrugated board packaging market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% during 2021 to 2026.
We’ve had a look at how some of the world’s biggest brands are shifting their approach to packaging:
Amazon: Amazon is a clear industry leader when it comes to employing corrugated packaging. For online brands, packaging encompasses a huge competitive advantage – the fact that online businesses do not need to display their products in the same way as physical retail spaces.
Swapping clamshell packaging for paper and fiberboard means cheaper shipping and less hassle for the customer. Amazon introduced its frustration free packaging promise in 2008 and its recyclable corrugated cardboard and paper packaging is ubiquitous.
Proctor & Gamble: In2020, Proctor & Gamble made the promise to aim for 100 per cent recyclable or reusable packaging, while halving its use of virgin petroleum plastic in packaging, by 2030. To help it meet these aims, the multinational is turning to corrugated and cardboard packaging.
The innovation that really added value is the inclusion of a digital barcode, invisible to the human eye, directly on the cardboard packaging. This allows it to be scanned and sorted into the appropriate recycling channel. The popular Old Spice deodorant range is also to be repackaged in recycled paper tubes rather than plastic and the recent Tide Eco-Box is constructed from corrugated with a sealed bag of laundry detergent inside.
Colgate Palmolive: Recently reporting that their full-year consumption of recycled content in overall packaging was averaged across 2020 at 49 percent, Colgate Palmolive has updated its aims for 2025 to a mere 25 per cent. They also pledge to continue to increase recycled content in their overall packaging.
One of the ways they have been meeting their sustainability goals is through increased use of recycled content in the corrugated boxes used to ship home, personal, and oral care to a variety of global destinations.
Colgate Palmolive started the process of investigating shelf-ready corrugated packaging in the early 2000s, an investment that is proving wise.
Corrugated alternatives – the all-important testing stage
From food to hygiene products and pharmaceuticals, corrugated is disrupting the world of packaging across many industries – but as businesses and manufacturers explore new methods of packaging, quality control must be a key consideration.
As more businesses follow in the eco-friendly footsteps of brands like those named above, ensuring that your materials have been appropriately checked before a package has been shipped out should be the primary concern of any manufacturer.
That’s where we can help.
Scalable, in-depth, and tailored to your needs, Industrial Physics are global leaders in the test and inspection space. And our corrugated packaging testing solutions are incredibly diverse – from burst testing to edge crush testing and substrate testing – you name it, we test it! If you’d like to find out more about ways to test the integrity of boxes, linerboards, flutes, and corrugated panels, get in touch.