Plastic vs Cardboard Packaging: The Pros and Cons | Part 2

In our last instalment, we looked at the pros and cons of plastic. We think it’s fair to say that plastic may not be the first material on your list if you are looking for the most environmentally friendly packaging option. This is why we thought to bring cardboard into the mix. In this article, we look at the pros and cons of cardboard packaging, so you can make the best-informed decision possible.

Cardboard and paper

Many firms consider paper and cardboard as a simple fix to help them meet their plastic reduction objectives. We are presently suffering cardboard shortages since the demand for corrugated cardboard has exceeded the capacity of paper mills. Due to the enormous development in e-commerce last year, among other issues like Brexit and the pandemic, it’s even been dubbed “the search for beige gold.” What demonstrates the appeal of cardboard if not this?

Many businesses are moving to paper because it is more ecologically friendly since it does not represent as much of a hazard to the environment if it ends up in the ocean or rivers. Not only that but a £200 per tonne levy on any plastic container with less than 30% recycled material is now in effect, further pressuring firms to cut their plastic usage.

The Paper and Cardboard Pro’s

So, is paper more environmentally friendly than plastic? The usage of cardboard offers advantages over the plastic option. Some examples are:

  • Recyclable: Cardboard comes from sustainable wood pulp or recycled cardboard. This indicates that it has a high recycling rate of 85.8% in Europe. Whereas plastic generally ends up in landfills.
  • Sustainable: Cardboard offers an obvious sustainability advantage over plastic since it is biodegradable and degrades considerably faster.
  • Reusable: One of the most significant benefits is that cardboard boxes are reusable.
  • Printing and design: Cardboard is readily printed on, so it is ideal for marketing, branding, and promotional applications.
  • Cost savings: Because cardboard is reusable, buying in bulk can save your company a lot of money.
  • Long-term storage: As long as it is kept dry, you can store cardboard for an extended length of time.

Tams Packaging offers a variety of packaging solutions your business can use in place of plastic. Cardboard boxes provide several advantages, including being recyclable, making them more ecologically friendly than most plastics.

Con’s of Paper and Cardboard Packaging

Although many businesses are shifting away from plastic and toward paper products such as cardboard, it is crucial to recognise that cardboard has its own environmental challenges.

  • Cardboard is far less robust than plastic and is subject to mould, fire, and water damage caused by weather.
  • Cardboard cannot withstand as much weight as plastic; you cannot stack it as readily without breaking.
  • Cardboard is not the best material for weatherproofing since water and other liquids can penetrate the box and reach the contents.

Ultimately, it all comes down to what you’re delivering and how substantial the material is. You can reuse cardboard boxes, which can be a very cost-effective alternative. They are also more environmentally friendly than the plastic equivalent. However, as previously noted, stacking issues may arise, mainly if the box cannot support the weight of the contents.

If you’re looking for a Cardboard Box Printers in the UK, make sure to check out our website and get in touch. Someone from our team would be happy to take you through our packaging printing process.

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