cardboard box open showing the sky

Sustainable Cardboard: Expectations vs. Reality. 

In this article, we hope to indulge you in the strengths and limitations, expectations and challenges, environmental impacts, and advancements and opportunities ahead when working with sustainable cardboard. We want to educate you on the differences between plastic packaging and cardboard packaging as we evolve today with sustainable sourcing.

The Sustainable Cardboard Packaging Promise

Plastic has been our primary source of packaging for the majority of companies around the world for decades. Businesses are shifting towards eco-friendly packaging options; sustainable cardboard is the leading go-to. The promise of sustainable cardboard packaging lies in the ability to revolutionise how we package and transport goods. 

Since the hope is to minimise the environmental impact, sustainable cardboard is derived from renewable resources, such as trees, which offer renewable and biodegradable alternatives to traditional packaging materials like plastic. Since cardboard is lightweight, it helps to reduce transportation emissions, which makes it an eco-friendly choice. Of course, cardboard is also recyclable, which allows for a closed-loop system where your packaging can be reused and repurposed. 

With the help of design and technology advancements, sustainable cardboard packaging can now provide the same level of durability and protection as traditional materials; this helps promise that your products will be delivered safely whilst contributing to a greener future. If we can embrace sustainable cardboard packaging, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to the environment and meet the growing demand for eco-conscious solutions; this ultimately will pave the way towards a more sustainable and circular economy. 

cardboard and plastic bubble wrap

Sustainable Sourcing: Expectations and Challenges

Sustainable sourcing combines social, ethical and environmental performance factors in selecting suppliers. 

It is critical across all industries since we continuously expand globally as businesses, supply chains, and developing countries seek lower costs and a higher production capacity. Unfortunately, this can also expose companies to more risks. These challenges could be anything from needing more knowledge about sustainability before using sustainable materials, minimal internal resources, funding issues, and difficulty accessing proper technology. 

But these challenges are minimal compared to the benefits and expectations of using sustainable cardboard for packaging. This can range from improving your brand, reducing greenhouse gases, decreasing energy costs, being eco-friendly, and improving your supplier diversity. 

What is the Environmental Impact of Sustainable Cardboard?

Assessing the environmental impacts of sustainable cardboard packaging helps provide insight into the reality of it as an eco-friendly solution. We must also evaluate the broader picture since cardboard is derived from renewable resources and offers more recycling opportunities. 

Cardboard is recyclable and not made through toxic production; this means it is usually processed without bleach since it doesn’t need to be pristine white like paper. It would help if you also considered that trees are renewable, and since cardboard depends on wood pulp from trees, that makes it a renewable raw material. 

Using sustainable cardboard has a small carbon footprint as trees separate carbon dioxide; this overall means that cardboard and paper have a minimal effect on global emissions. Finally, cardboard is also biodegradable and can be used as a compost material, so if you don’t want to recycle your cardboard, you can always compost it, and you will find under the right circumstances, the cardboard will completely break down into organic matter within two months. 

cardboard earth in hand

How can Sustainable Cardboard effect Packaging Performance?

The packaging sustainability of cardboard has its strengths and limitations, as you may have already guessed. Overall the durability of cardboard packaging is excellent with strength and strength-to-weight ratio. It can also protect contents from damage throughout shipping. But cardboard can also deform under pressure, is not weatherproof and is best not used for bulky items. 

Considering these factors, you should consider the cost, especially when buying in bulk, as cardboard has easy storage options and provides cost savings. Still, it also prompts the recurring need for more and can take up a lot of storage. 

But overall, the strengths of using cardboard as your source of packaging are the better option when it comes to performance because the durability, costs, customisation and lightweight, eco-friendly design can help you and your business as well as help the environment. 

cardboard boxes on conveyor belt

What is the Future of Sustainable Cardboard?

Sustainable cardboard’s future outlook is already promising, with many advancements and opportunities available for further innovation. The demand for sustainable solutions has continued to grow, and cardboard packaging has become a likely player increasing its significance in the packaging industry. 

There are current opportunities for advancements in manufacturing techniques and material sciences to develop more substantial and more durable cardboard. We also know some engineers and researchers are exploring techniques such as composite materials. These advancements will help enable the use of cardboard in a broader range of applications, from delicate to heavier products. 

Technology is also playing a huge role in optimising sustainable cardboard packaging, from digital design tools and simulations that help to create efficient packaging designs; this minimises material usage and maximises environmental protection. These advancements create wider opportunities, such as reducing waste and maximising resource efficiency. Collaboration among stakeholders, such as packaging manufacturers or retailers, is crucial in driving the future of sustainable cardboard and other materials. 

This means that the future of sustainable materials looks hopeful with all forms of advancements and opportunities available for innovative and eco-friendly solutions. So we hope sustainable cardboard is just the beginning in evolving sustainably, contributing towards a greener future. 

greener city image


Today, we hope to have given you every strength, weakness, positive, negative and opportunity you were looking for when deciding on your packaging material. Sustainable cardboard is the only choice and is the way to a more eco-friendly future. We hope you agree. 

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