A Comprehensive Guide to the Versatility of Carton Papers

carton papers

Ever Wondered why carton paper is a top pick in the packaging industry? Why is its use so ubiquitous in every industry from dairy to poultry to cosmetics to pharma? Because it's pretty economical and functional, especially for bargain hunters and those who prefer convenience in packaging. Besides this, there are tons of other practical, environmental, and aesthetic benefits of choosing paperboard cartons in the packaging of your products.

Let's take a closer look at “what is carton paper” and how versatile it is when it comes to creating durable structures for different packaging needs and recycling them to fight the climate crisis.

Paper Carton Packaging – 5 Technicalities to Look Into

paper carton packaging 5 technicalities to look into

Paper cartons are made from a single sheet of paperboard. It's generally pretty suitable for the packaging of lightweight products. Why? Because it is designed in such a way that it can hold only a few pounds without distorting the original form. But it is also used for heavy-duty products if other types of material are integrated into the composition for added strength and protection. Now that’s what we call hybrid packaging.

Time to shed some light on its technical aspects!

Reduced Waste and Carbon Emissions

The best way to get rid of waste and carbon emissions is by employing the circular packaging design in carton of paper. This design emphasizes circular economy principles in the design process to prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Moreover, the process includes four stages:

  • Understand

  • Define

  • Make

  • Release

The term “circular economy” was first coined in 1988 by Allan Kneese in The Economics of Natural Resources. Opting for this packaging solution is the best place to start if you want to attract eco-conscious customers.

Tamper Proof Packaging with Paper Carton Sealing Tape

tamper proof packaging with sealing tape

Using tamper-evident seals or paper carton tape for a carton paper box are preferable options to build trust in your brand. After all, they ensure the security of items packed inside the carton. The tamper-evident feature lets you know if your package has been opened or tampered with. Further, the sealing tape wrapped around the cartons prevents them from unintentional openings. The tape can also be used for labeling, making it easy to identify the products inside.

Secure Closure for Carton Paper

Secure and tight closure of cartons is very crucial to prevent damage during transportation or shipping. Cartons that contain heavier items are usually sealed with staples and plastic straps. Carefully choosing a closure mechanism is also paramount to consider while designing carton paper packaging.

Technological Integration

For efficient traceability, you can also integrate technology like barcodes or QR codes into packaging design. Understanding such technical features helps you design cartons in a better way.


Carton paper specifications include features like the type of material used for carton manufacturing, stock thickness, die-cutting process, size and shape, coating preference, etc. All these characteristics are flexible and you can adjust them per your desire and need. Customizations can be your way to ultimate branding, especially when creatively printed with brand name, logo, tagline, and contact details.

Types of Cartons Paper

types of cartons

Paper cartons are mostly used in retail stores for displaying bulk products. Due to their sturdiness and resilience to external damages, they can be used either for storage or shipping. There are different types of cartons including but not limited to foldable cartons, multipack, hybrid packaging, and strength packaging. However, they are usually available in two common types.

Shelf-Stable Cartons

Shelf-stable cartons, also known as aseptic cartons, are made of paper and plastic (thin layers of polyethylene) in general. But in case of aseptic cartons, they comprise 74% paper, 22% polyethylene, and 4% aluminum. So, we can say aluminum is an additional element. These are used in the packaging of the following items:

  • Juice

  • Milk

  • Wine

  • Broth

  • Soup

  • Grain milk

Refrigerated Cartons

Refrigerated cartons are manufactured in the shape of a gable style for easy and controllable pouring. Comprising 80% paper and 20% polyethylene, these are often made from recyclable and renewable materials to minimize carbon footprint. The most common items packed in this packaging include:

  • Egg substitutes

  • Milk

  • Juices

  • Cream

  • Other dairy products

  • Beverages

How to Recycle Coated Paper Cartons?

how to recycle coated paper cartons

In recycling, the quality of paper matters! The type and grade decide how it's processed and what it turns into. Nevertheless, as technology is evolving, significant advancements have been made in recycling too. So, it's better to confirm with your local waste service to see what they now accept for recycling. Besides, countries like the U.S. have made progress in improving the carton recycling process. A recent survey by the Carton Council of North America indicates a noteworthy increase in carton recycling from 50% to 61%.

In the past, coated paper carton recycling was generally not possible. Coated cartons like paper milk cartons are multilayered and coated with wax, foil, or plastic which makes them hard to process during the recycling process. Further, many recycling facilities don't accept milk carton paper, but it varies from recovery facility to facility. You can confirm with your local provider for paper milk carton recycling availability. Yet, the general card and paper recycling process involves the following steps:

  1. Collection

  2. Sorting by tapes and grades

  3. Cleaning and filtering

  4. Processing

  5. Draining and flattening

  6. Processing final products

The final sheets of recycled coated paper cartons can be used as the outer lining of corrugated boards. Apart from milk cartons, paper egg cartons can also be recycled now with the latest techniques and technologies.

Further Reading: Tell Your Brand Story through the Duo of Packaging and Labeling

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, cartons are used in numerous ways and the most common type of them is found in retail packaging as foldable cartons. If designed by considering all the crucial technical features, these cartons can take your packaging or any brand to the next level. Above all, they are also easy to recycle, hence posing zero threat to the environment.

Do you have any more queries regarding the carton paper sheets? We are here to help you. At Half Price Packaging, we have an expert team that is 24/7 ready to help you design aesthetic yet functional carton paper boxes at quite affordable rates. Contact us right now for a free quote!

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