It almost feels as though corrugated cardboard as a packaging item that is taken for granted. Think about it for a moment: most cardboard items are corrugated to some degree, from standard packing boxes to the really heavy-duty stuff. It’s so common we don’t notice it. But why is it so readily used for shipping?
As discussed in a previous blog regarding how best to package fragile items, cardboard can be a great product for padding. The ribbed cardboard sandwiched between two layers of additional cardboard is an incredibly spongy material. There’s a reason the likes of Amazon ship many of their fragile products in boxes that are enclosed within another heavy-duty box. If that parcel is bumped for whatever reason in transit, then the likelihood of being damaged is greatly reduced.
On a more superficial level, paper and cardboard is relatively cheap to produce. While there is still a way to go to make paper production carbon neutral, it’s a product that can be readily recycled and reused in bulk. With many companies opting to make good on recycling quotas as the government put climate change measures in place, the cost of this is getting cheaper by the year.
On top of this, as mentioned in our blog on biodegradability, cardboard is biodegradable. We do not condone wanton littering because of this and would highly recommend ensuring any paper or cardboard waste is disposed of properly, but should it end up in a field somewhere, or even in the ocean, it will eventually dissipate over the course of a few months.
So, we should celebrate this readily used and functional piece of packaging. And the next time you receive a product in the mail, take a moment to appreciate the simple robustness of corrugated cardboard.