While the most common packaging material in the shipping and manufacturing industry is corrugated paper, corrugated plastic boxes are becoming a more popular packaging choice.Plastic Corrugated Containers
Plastic corrugated boxes are similar in styles and purpose to corrugated paper, but by using corrugated plastic the container can be reused multiple times. This is highly beneficial in controlling and reducing costs if the application and distribution cycle allows for the return of containers to the shipper.
The primary material for a corrugated plastic container is fluted polypropylene sheets. This is an extruded sheet in flat form, the thicknesses of these sheets starts at 2mm and goes up to 25mm. The flat sheets can then be used to fabricate various styles of corrugated boxes and custom packaging systems.
Types of Corrugated Plastic Boxes
The most common plastic corrugated boxes used for shipping purposes are the set-up hand totes and the die cut shippers.
Set-up hand totes normally come with stacking frames and are custom made to a required size. These totes can include custom interiors designed specifically for the part being shipped. Generally, the interiors of these totes are made from corrugated plastic, foam or a combination of the two materials.
Die cut shippers are normally fabricated by die cutting plastic corrugated sheets. This type of shipping container is shipped flat to the customer and requires folding at score lines to erect the container. A great benefit of these containers is that they can be folded flat after use and returned to the original shipper.
Both the set-up containers and die cut shippers can be made to any dimension and style. The packaging specifications given by the customer will determine both the style and dimensions of a corrugated plastic container.
Cost Savings Generated
When purchasing packaging containers, keep in mind plastic corrugated containers will require an initial investment. This type of packaging would not be practical if the economics for returning the plastic containers can’t be justified. However, the upside of replacing a paper-shipping box with a plastic corrugated box is the reduction in cost over a period of time.
A standard 12x12x12 box made from paper can cost as little as $.90 each. While a 12x12x12 plastic corrugated box will cost more than paper, they are not affected by moisture, humidity, rough handling or other hazards associated with most distribution environments.
Plastic corrugated containers will last for years and can be recycled at the end of their life. After 5 trips, the plastic corrugated container has paid for itself and the true cost savings begin.
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