In the packaging industry, the most common type of packaging is the standard folding box, called a “folding carton”. Because they are flat during storage and assembled when needed, folding cartons are very easy to store and transport. Folding boxes can be used for a myriad of packaging needs; they can be sealed for long-term storage and resealed for repeated use.
Folding carton manufacturers use paperboard for their cartons. Paperboard is a thick, paper-based material that is usually a margin thicker than standard paper. Paperboard can be single or multi-ply. To ensure the highest quality, paperboard usually has several layers of repeated applications of a dilute fiber suspension. Because paperboard is strong, lightweight, easily cut and shaped, and durable, it is often used in packaging.
Products Sold in Folding Cartons
Folding cartons, used in mail order, vending machines, hospitals, schools, and in the pharmaceutical industry, are the packaging we see in grocery stores and shops. Cartons are used to package convenience foods, which makes travel and sporting events a lot easier.
What about the Environment?
Folding packaging is made of wood, which is a naturally renewable resource. Additionally, the energy used to process the wood comes from the non-cellulose constituents of the wood and is therefore naturally renewable as well.
Different companies and industries often use varied terminology for their packaging system. Listed below are the most standard terms and definitions:
- Boxboard: Also known as carton board (compressed paper made into thick cardboard) for folding cartons and stiff boxes, which are commonly used to ship fine stationery, letterhead and business cards.
- Folding boxboard – A type of boxboard that can bend without breaking or fracturing.
- Chipboard – Lower quality board; often recycled.
- Kraft board – a paperboard made of sulfate pulp that has particularly good strength and bending qualities. Often treated with clay to facilitate printing.
- Laminated board – Occurs when layers of materials are bonded together to form an aggregate material.
- Solid Bleached Board – Clean white board used for food products. This kind of board undergoes a process called bleaching in order to make it brighter, stronger, and more durable. This process also ensures that the board is clean and free of any outside contaminants. The three layers of the top surface are usually a lighter color.
- Corrugated medium – the lined portion on the inside of the box.
- Linerboard – a strong, rigid board for the sides of grooved boxes. It is the flat cover over the grooved section of the box.