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Corrugated Boxes vs Plastic Packaging, Which is Better for Your Business?

Let’s be honest. There wasn’t an emphasis on environmentally-friendly business practices until recently.

Before the rise of ecommerce shipping, physical retailers used—and still often use—plastic packaging. While this is an easy option for brick and mortar stores, plastic packaging isn't always friendly for online retailers.

As businesses have started to realize how much unrecyclable plastic can hurt the environment, so have consumers. Today, consumers expect businesses to adapt to more sustainable packaging options. That doesn’t mean all businesses need to rule out plastic for product shipping. 

When it comes to custom corrugated boxes or plastic packaging, which is better for your business? Let's break down the two options.


Plastic Packaging

Plastic Packaging

Plastic is affordable and economical from a business perspective. It’s a lightweight but durable option for packaging and has a longer shelf-life. The versatility of plastic packaging is also a big draw for businesses.

With plastic, you can easily mold the packaging to fit the product (think about a pack of batteries). Its durability also protects items encased within. If you’re in need of packaging that fits your product perfectly or you’re shipping extremely heavy-duty products, plastic is likely your answer.

You can still customize plastic—think of that blue ribbon across your plastic Amazon package—but it’s not as easy to create or as environmentally-friendly.

For some retailers, custom plastic packaging will work just as well when shipping to consumers.

But if numbers scare you, get ready. Every year, eight million metric tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans. That’s on top of the 150 million tons that already circulate the ocean currently.

By 2050, the United Nations predicts that there will be more plastic waste in the ocean than fish.

It’s safe to say that plastic packaging is contributing to these large numbers. While it does take less energy to recycle compared to corrugated boxes, not all plastic is recyclable or biodegradable.

If you want to take the pledge against plastic, you can do so with our friends at No2Plastic

Corrugated Custom Boxes

Custom Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes are less harmful to the environment compared to unrecyclable plastic.

Corrugated boxes have flutes, which are made from recycled paper, that are sandwiched between two liners. Those liners are almost always made from recycled materials as well.

Since cardboard breaks down completely, it’s easier to recycle and reuse.

Take a look at how sustainable corrugated boxes really are. For every 1,000 boxes sold, you will help save about 19 trees, over 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and so much more.

Custom corrugated boxes are the better option for teams who don’t need their product perfectly fitted with packaging (think about a pair of shoes in a shipping box). When you customize a corrugated box, the kraft material helps absorb the ink much better than it would on plastic. Your designs will look just the way you envisioned them. Plus, you can print on any part of your custom corrugated box.

With plastic, you usually have to stick to the exterior of the packaging.

The tear-resistant quality of corrugated boxes will keep your logo or customization and product intact while in transit to your consumer. You won’t have to stress over ripped plastic packaging or broken products.

So even if your box falls during transit or accidentally gets bumped, the ever-durable corrugated box has such strong corners it can handle a high-intensity jolt.

If you’re worried about broken products, rough handling or warehouse accidents, your business will want to go with corrugated boxes.

While we’re certainly biased, it’s hard to deny that corrugated boxes are better for the environment and likely your business. These multi-layered boxes are strong, reliable and easily customizable. Plus, the customization you do choose will look better compared to what it would look on plastic.

So will your business choose corrugated boxes or plastic packaging?

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