The cardboard box is pretty amazing: it’s light, strong, versatile and provides cushioning. It consists of flat layers of thick paper with fluted intermediate layers. Cardboard varies in thickness and strength depending on the grade of paper, the design of the flutes and how many layers of flutes are used.
Here are some interesting facts about corrugated cardboard:
- While e-commerce has definitely created a large demand for cardboard, overall cardboard usage in the U.S. has actually declined! The decline is due to more efficient use of cardboard packing for industrial use and increasing use of other technologies such as shrink-wrapped plastic.
- More than 95% of all products in the U.S. are shipped in corrugated boxes.
- Cardboard is very recyclable and in the U.S. about 90% of cardboard is recycled. Cardboard accounts for more than half of all paper recycled in the U.S. While a 90% recycle rate is good, that 10% of non-recycled cardboard is a significant amount of waste. Please recycle your cardboard!!!
- Corrugated cardboard was patented in 1856 and was first used as a liner for tall hats.
- Flat cardboard that folds into a box was invented in 1890.
- A major use of cardboard boxes was the shipping of flaked breakfast cereal that became popular at the turn of the 20th century.
- Children have invented many other uses for corrugated boxes: