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Packaging is an important part of many industries, including food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and retail. It plays an important role in protecting products during transportation, storage, and display. The durability of packaging materials is critical to ensuring that products arrive at their destination intact and retain their freshness. One of the key factors affecting packaging quality is the choice of paper grade.

Different paper types have different properties that affect packaging strength, durability, and cost. Understanding the pros and cons of each option in the paper industry is critical for businesses to choose the right type of packaging for their products.

In this article, we’ll explore seven different types of popular packaging paper grades: corrugated board, board stock, double-sided, kraft, wrapping paper, solid bleached sulfate (SBS) board, and folding boxboard. We’ll discuss the benefits of each paper grade and compare their strength, durability, and cost to help businesses make informed decisions when choosing packaging materials.

1. 7 types of packaging paper

This article will help you understand the many types of wrapping paper. This will provide you with detailed information about the material used and many of its basic characteristics. We try to answer many of your questions, such as what kind of paper is used for packaging. This way you can make informed decisions for all your packaging needs.

Top 7 Popular Packaging Papers

1) Corrugated cardboard

Corrugated cardboard paper is different from cardboard. Corrugated cardboard is a strong and durable substance that can withstand excessive pressure that causes its mass to expand, with only an inner lining, an outer primer, and a grooved curved layer in the center. Corrugated cardboard is widely used as a shipping medium due to several factors, from the quality that ensures product safety to its very affordable and environmentally friendly nature. Corrugated cardboard is used in a variety of packaging environments, including mobile, shipping computers, and packaging food.

2) cardboard paper

Unlike corrugated boxes, which are constructed from multiple layers of paperboard, paperboard is usually constructed from a single layer of heavy-duty paper or cardboard. Cardboard box sheets are significantly thinner and lighter than corrugated boxes. On the other hand, such sheets come in a variety of qualities and sturdiness levels. Compact and lightweight products are usually packed and shipped in cardboard boxes, such as cereals, perishable consumables, small toys, etc. Cardboard boxes are relatively easier to fold or bend than corrugated boxes due to their lighter nature. Cardboard boxes in various forms are quite rare, and some can be shaped to fit the contours of their contents.

3) Double panel

Double-sided is simply a type of cardboard or cardboard that gets its name from the fact that it has two layers. These coated duplex boards have a glossy surface and are dust-resistant, making them suitable for packaging of high-quality items. A high-quality coating provides durability and hardness to these duplex boards. These products are widely used in various industries and are known for their quality. Double-sided panels are a form of sheet material, available in roll and sheet forms. They are commonly used to make cartons, clothing packaging, milk cartons and a range of other packaging, and are available in white-backed and gray-backed duplex boards.

There are two types of double-sided wrapping paper:

  • Single-sided coated paper: This type of double-sided paper has one side coated. The weight is generally 210 grams.
  • Double-sided coated paper: This type of double-sided paper is coated on both sides. Since both sides are coated, the weight is heavier than the 250 gsm single-sided coating.

Double-walled cardboard boxes offer exceptional stiffness and durability, providing excellent protection for the items inside, no matter how big or small. Packaging products made of double-sided cardboard will have bright and lively colors. This will make the overall product look more luxurious and refined. Double-sided cardboard is known to be one of the most cost-effective materials, even more so than Ivory or Bristol paper. Double-sided packaging paper is commonly used for printing corrugated cardboard cartons and folding cartons.

4) Kraft paper

Kraft paper is a strong, flexible, rough material. Depending on the particular type of kraft paper, the average weight is usually between 50 and 135 g, sometimes up to 250 g/m2 (at Starprint Vietnam). The color of kraft paper is usually golden brown; however, manufacturers can bleach it to make it pale yellow or creamy white. 

Kraft wrapping paper is an ideal packaging material due to its strength and environmental friendliness. Large e-commerce companies have recently begun using the material to make boxes and envelopes. Unlike plastic products, which can take hundreds of years to degrade, kraft paper products can begin to break down in two to six weeks. It is also recyclable, making it a popular choice among environmentally conscious consumers.

Not only is kraft paper good for the environment, but it can also be used to make quality wrapping paper and gift boxes. The simple and natural packaging gives people a simple and fashionable feeling, which is neither plain nor boring. This is why kraft boxes and paper have become a hot topic in the past few years.

Kraft paper

5) Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper, commonly used for wrapping gifts, is a beautiful paper used to wrap gifts for holidays, celebrations, and other occasions. It features beautiful patterns printed using the flexographic printing method. The material is available in rolls and folded flat packs.

6) Solid bleached sulfate (SBS)

Solid Bleached Sulphate (SBS) is a high-quality paperboard grade widely used in the packaging industry. According to Statista, 71% of the world’s SBS supply comes from North America and is used to package retail products. The manufacturing process of SBS involves chemically pulping the fibers and then bleaching them to obtain a pure white color. The bleached wood pulp is then refined and made into boxes.

SBS is considered the best product packaging because of its superior strength, durability, and white surface inside and outside the box, making it the best choice for printing. SBS can be coated on one side (C1S) or both sides (C2S), providing companies with flexibility in packaging design and printing needs. The quality of SBS also allows for special processes such as debossing and embossing, foil stamping, or dot UV printing.

These types of boxes are popular among most industries for packaging food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, confectionery, baked goods, tobacco, etc. SBS boxes are particularly popular among personal care products due to their elegant, high-end appearance. However, a major disadvantage of SBS is that it is not an environmentally friendly option. The production of SBS involves extensive bleaching, which can result in the release of harmful chemicals into the environment.

Additionally, SBS is typically made from virgin fibers, which means trees need to be cut down to produce it. This can lead to deforestation, a major environmental problem. Additionally, SBS is relatively expensive compared to other grades of paperboard. This may make it more difficult for small businesses or those on a tight budget to obtain it. SBS is also not suitable for packaging products exposed to moisture or humidity as it is less resistant to water.

Finally, while SBS is a high-quality packaging option, it may not be the best choice for products that require very sturdy, heavy-duty boxes. In this case, other grades such as corrugated cardboard may be a better choice.

7) Folding box board (FBB)

Folding boxboard (FBB) is a high-quality paperboard that is chemically and mechanically manufactured from multiple layers of pulp material to make it strong and durable. The smooth surface of multilayer FBB provides the best opportunity for high-quality printing using offset printing technology. Unlike SBS, which is made entirely of chemical pulp, the mechanical pulp component of FBB provides a harder component.

SBS and FBB are both made from virgin fibers and can be used for a wide range of packaging applications.  These boxes are ideal for packaging food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals and are widely used as the primary packaging substrate for businesses in India. FBB’s durability and stiffness make it a popular choice for businesses that need packaging that can withstand the wear and tear of shipping and storage.

Additionally, many FBB manufacturers employ sustainable forest management practices and offer recycled paper content options, making them an eco-friendly choice for businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact. While folding boxboard (FBB) is an excellent choice for product packaging due to its durability and smooth printing surface, it does have some disadvantages. First, due to its high-quality production process and use of virgin fibers, FBB is more expensive than other paper grades such as CCNB.

Additionally, FBB is not as environmentally friendly as other paper types such as recycled paper because it requires the use of virgin fibers. However, FBB manufacturers are beginning to adopt sustainable forest management practices and offer recycled content options, which is helping to reduce the environmental impact of this paper grade.

Another disadvantage of FBB is that recycling can be challenging due to its multi-layered composition. While many recycling facilities can process FBB, it may require more energy to recycle than other paper grades, which may impact its overall environmental footprint. Despite these shortcomings, many businesses continue to use FBB for product packaging due to its strength, durability, and high-quality printing capabilities on custom-printed papers.

Folding box board (FBB)

For paper packaging, finishes play an important role in creating the desired look and feel of the packaging. Here are some popular finishes used in paper packaging:

Matte Finish: Matte finish paper packaging has a matte and soft appearance, providing a sophisticated and premium appearance. It is commonly used in luxury packaging, including cosmetics, perfumes, and high-end food products.

Glossy Finish: Glossy finish paper packaging features a shiny and reflective surface, providing a sleek and modern look. Advertising, magazine covers, and retail packaging commonly use it.

Embossed Finish: Embossed finish paper packaging has a raised or debossed texture, creating a three-dimensional effect. To make packaging more memorable and eye-catching, it adds depth and texture.

Foil Stamping: Foil stamping is the application of metallic or colored foil to paper packaging to create a luxurious and elegant look. It is often used for premium packaging of chocolate, wine, and other high-end products.

Local UV Coating: Local UV coating involves applying a high-gloss finish to specific areas of paper packaging, creating a contrast between glossy and matte finishes. It is used to highlight specific areas of a package, such as a logo, text, or image.

paper packaging

3. Conclusion

To further understand the ideal paper grade for your packaging, it’s important to understand the material’s durability, strength, and thickness. This will help create a suitable box based on the weight of the product and the structural design of the package. Measure the thickness of the cardboard by determining the PT/GSM of the material. The higher the GSM/PT unit, the thicker the material and the greater the weight it can support. The above are the 7 most popular packaging papers compiled by Hopakpackaging for you. Please read them carefully.

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