Corrugated packaging has been around for centuries, but it was in the early 19th century that it began to be mass-produced. Today, most businesses use corrugated packaging for various applications, from packaging fragile items to shipping hefty objects.
Before we take you down memory lane to the history of corrugated packaging, let’s first get to know what corrugated packaging is.
What is Corrugated Packaging?
Corrugated packaging is a type of packaging made from corrugated paperboard. The paperboard is made by sandwiching an inner layer of fluted paper between two outer layers of matte paper. The fluted paper is made by running it through a series of fluting rollers, which creates the wavy, corrugated shape. Many businesses use corrugated packaging for different products, including food, beverages, electronics, and even clothing. Corrugated packaging is also used for shipping boxes and packaging. This type of packaging is strong and can protect the box’s contents from damage. Corrugated packaging is a great way to protect your products. It is also a great way to reduce the amount of waste produced.
The Early Days of Corrugated Packaging – A Brief History:
It is safe to say that corrugated packaging has been around for centuries. However, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that its use became more widespread. Early use of corrugated packaging was from paperboard treated with a wavy, crimped, or rippled finish. This helped to give the paperboard strength, durability, and a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
In the early 19th century, Englishman Henry Palmer developed a machine to make the fluted paper necessary for corrugated paperboard. Palmer’s machine was later improved upon by American inventor Oliver Long, who created an engine device that could produce corrugated paperboard in continuous sheets. His machine helped make the first machine-made corrugated paper, speeding up production, and it soon became the preferred method for manufacturing it.
The first corrugated cardboard boxes were introduced in the early 1900s and quickly became popular for various applications. They were especially well-suited for fragile packaging, as the corrugated paper provided excellent protection.
Today, most businesses and individuals use corrugated packaging for everything from packaging food and fragile items to shipping hefty objects.
The Benefits of Corrugated Packaging:
Corrugated packaging quickly became popular due to its many benefits, including its light weight, durability, and easy customization.
One of the essential benefits of corrugated packaging is its ability to protect products during shipping and storage. Corrugated sheet comprises three layers:
- An outer layer of paperboard
- A middle layer of corrugated sheet cardboard
- An inner layer of paperboard
This construction makes corrugated packaging strong and resistant to crushing. Additionally, the corrugated layer provides cushioning that helps to protect products from impact. Another benefit of corrugated packaging is its sustainability. Corrugated sheet is made from renewable resources and can be recycled and reused. Over 90% of corrugated sheet across the globe is recycled.Corrugated packaging is an essential part of the packaging industry, providing many benefits for businesses and consumers. It is the perfect packaging solution thanks to its lightweight, durability, and sustainability.
The Drawbacks of Corrugated Packaging:
The early days of corrugated packaging were not without their drawbacks. One of the biggest problems was that the corrugated material was not very strong. This meant the boxes were not very durable and could easily be damaged. Another problem was that the corrugated material was not very good at keeping out moisture. For that reason, the boxes could easily become damp and moldy, which was not very good for the products.
The Future of Corrugated Packaging:
The corrugated packaging industry is constantly evolving and innovating to keep up with the ever-changing needs of consumers and businesses. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, the packaging industry must adapt to stay relevant. Here are four predictions for the future of corrugated packaging:
- Increased use of sustainable materials: With consumers becoming more conscious of the environment, there will be an increased demand for sustainable packaging materials. This could mean using more recycled or biodegradable materials that are easier on the environment.
- More personalized packaging: With the rise of e-commerce, businesses must find ways to make their packaging stand out from the competition. This could involve using more personalized designs or even incorporating augmented reality into packaging so that consumers can interact with it before making a purchase.
- Smarter packaging: As the world becomes more connected, packaging will need to become smarter to keep up. This could involve using RFID tags to track products or incorporating sensors into the packaging to monitor the condition of the contents.
- Greater focus on packaging waste: With the increasing emphasis on sustainability, businesses will need to find packaging solutions that do not compromise the ability of future generations.
As one of the most popular and versatile packaging solutions, corrugated packaging has a long and rich history. From its humble beginnings as a material for shoe soles and hats to its modern-day use in packaging everything from food to furniture, corrugated packaging has come a long way. Corrugated packaging is here to stay, thanks to its durability, recyclability, and cost-effectiveness. So, the next time you need to pack up and ship something, choose corrugated packaging for the job.