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  • Corrugated 101: Sustainable Packaging Embraces Opportunity

    Packaging is founded upon the desire to keep our things safe; it holds onto our valuables like a supportive hug, providing protection and security for our items in transit. Sustainability is a way for packaging to emulate this supportive embrace towards the environment, keeping our planet and its ecosystems as safe and protected as our packages.


    That is why at Orora, we are opening our arms to Corrugated—the durable and sustainable solution to packaging.

    Corrugated 101

    Welcome to Corrugated 101, where we will examine why Orora embraces Corrugated the way that we do, and why it might be the exact packaging material your product has been searching for.  First, we will dissect Corrugated’s physical components, then, we will examine some of Corrugated’s benefits.


    Box Structure

    The strength and durability of Corrugated lies within its layers: fluted paper sandwiched in between two liners, creating a rigid wall of protection for the internal products of the package.



    Liners are the flat sheets that encase the fluted paper of Corrugated packaging, making up Corrugated’s outermost/innermost layers. When you look at a Corrugated box, you are looking at its liners.


    Fluted Paper

    The middle layer of Corrugated (also known as the “medium”) consists of fluted paper. This fluted paper resembles a wave-like pattern in between its outer liners, creating an internal, cushiony pad of support and strength for the package.



    There are typically three flute sizes that we use at Orora:

    C Flute Diagram

    C FLUTE - The “C flute” is pretty much the standard for shipping boxes. C flutes are great for compression and heavier goods.



    B Flute Diagram

    B FLUTE - The “B flute” is relatively similar to the C Flute, besides the fact that its flute waves are more tightly compacted. B flutes are great for ecommerce mail boxes, die cuts, and other types of boxes that require being folded together.

    E Flute

    E FLUTE- The “E flute” is the thinnest and contains the highest amount of flute waves. Since its lines are compressed, E flutes are best for printed material and smaller boxes.



    Corrugated Strength

    There are different levels of strength that a Corrugated package can have. Typically, a Single Wall and a Double Wall are used, although Tri Walls do exist too. These different strengths are used depending on how much protection a product’s packaging necessitates.

    Single Wall Diagram


    Single Wall


    The Single Wall is the most common strength of Corrugated. This strength is made up of two liners and one internal layer of fluted paper. So, the structure basically goes: 




    Double Wall Diagram


    Double Wall


    The Double Wall is prime for heavier items that need impact protection. This strength is ultra-sturdy, made up of three liners and two internal layers of fluted paper. With the Double Wall strength, C & B Flutes are typically utilized. Thus, the structure goes: 




    Strength Tests


    Tests are conducted to ensure the durability and strength of Corrugated material. These tests are called Edge-Crush Tests, or ECTs, and Mullen Tests. 



    Calculating Crushing Strength  


    By measuring how much downward pressure a box can handle before it collapses (in terms of pounds per linear inch), ECTs account for the performance of Corrugated materials while being stacked. ECTs give Corrugated boxes a number value that coincides with its crushing strength, typically ranging from 26 ECT - 90 ECT, with 32 ECT being the most common. The higher the number, the more weight the box can withstand, and overall, the stronger the Corrugated material is.  



    Calculating Bursting Strength


    Mullen tests measure the Corrugated box’s ability to withstand forces that might damage either the box or the product inside the box. Mullen tests apply force on the face of a Corrugated wall, and using pounds per square inch, measure how much force is required for the Corrugated material to burst. The number value associated with Mullen tests tell us how many pounds Corrugated can withstand, the most common being 200 #. Similarly to the ECT number values, the higher the number, the more durable the Corrugated material is.


    Corrugated Sustainability

    Sustainability is the route that the packaging industry must take in order to protect our environment and our future. With Corrugated, we can see the core components of sustainability being materialized and enacted, making it one of the most sustainable packaging solutions out there today.

    Here are some examples of why Corrugated is such a sustainable solution:




    • Corrugated has become one of the most recycled materials on the planet in the last decade, with a recycling rate of 91% in 2021  
    • Recycling corrugated material is easy and accessible; all it needs is to be taken to a recycling center (which a vast majority of the general public has access to).


    Reducing Waste:


    • Corrugated has a high capacity for customization and can be designed in a way that reduces excess material (less material used = less waste created).
    • Corrugated’s high recycling rates minimize general packaging waste



    • The sturdy and durable structure of Corrugated material makes it well equipped for multiple opportunities of reuse



    Customized Corrugated Bench

    Corrugated is heavily customizable. Our team’s extensive knowledge on Corrugated allows us to prioritize both structural efficiency and style in every Corrugated customization we do at Orora. We acknowledge how there are virtually hundreds of ways to attack a Corrugated packaging solution, and we have multiple angles to plan our attack from:


    • Our in-house graphic design department works alongside our structural design department, making our process of customization expedited and exact.


    •  We have a wide range of options for our Corrugated solutions, including sliding trays, food ware containers, compartmentalized boxes, etc.


    • Our team likes to get creative with our Corrugated solutions, designing innovative products, like a virtual reality headset, with our Corrugated material. The opportunities are virtually endless.

    Cost Efficiency


    Our Corrugated solutions account for cost efficiency, providing our customers with the best financial options for their product’s packaging. Corrugated’s capacity for customization allows it to be designed in ways that minimize the amount of packaging material used, ensuring that customers are not paying for excess packaging material.


    Corrugated’s Gift to the Future


    Corrugated is seriously the package deal. Its durable, customizable, and cost-efficient design practically welcomes innovation in the packaging world.  

    Beyond that, the way Corrugated prioritizes sustainability is vital, as sustainability is the most important gift that packaging can deliver to the future. Embracing sustainable solutions to packaging like Corrugated allows us to embrace opportunities that help make the world a better place. By choosing Corrugated, we can begin this positive impact on our environment together.