The perfect result for a packaging project can be achieved thanks to the right mix of different factors: design, functional and structural choices. 3 factors to keep in mind in order to decide which is the right paperboard to create your custom packaging.

Doing that, first, let’s get started from the definition of the most used materials in the folding paper industry. With folding carton we refer to a paper-based material with a grammage above 225 gsm, while we refer to paper when made of a lower grammage. Materials like microwave or corrugated paperboard are generally referred to as cardboard and they are used to realise, for example, packings or shipping boxes.

As we exactly know what folding carton means, here 3 useful suggestions that will help you choose the right paperboard based on your needs:


1. A thicker material is not always the best choice

Believing that a paperboard with a bigger grammage and thickness is the best choice is one of the most common error. Many companies select the highest grammages worrying about the weight of products the boxes will hold, or about damages during the transport. That’s not always good.

In fact, the choice has to be based – besides on thickness and grammage – on the toughness of cardboard that originates from mechanical properties of paper. For example, a virgin fibre paper ( like Stora Enso Tambrite), same thickness, has an higher toughness than a recycled one, because the first contains wood pulp that stiffens the structure, while the second one doesn’t.

Only after checked toughness, grammage and thickness, it is possible to select the best paper according to the dimensions of packaging and the weight of the product inside it. In fact, if the thickness of paper is too high, some damages may occur in packaging manufacturing, as for example a low quality of creases, imperfections of closing flaps and eventual manufacturing problems while filling the product.


2. Use virgin fibre cardboard for primary food packaging

If you are planning a food packaging, especially the primary one, so a direct contact food packaging, the material choice is fundamental. Virgin fibre is definitely one of the rightest choices, thanks to the spruce and birch pulp used to produce this kind of packaging, with no harmful materials added (Packly is supplied only by PEFC certified companies in line with responsibly managed forest 20-years protocols).

While producing paper and recycled cardboard it may occur to find some additives (sometimes mineral oils as well). In case of contact of these substances with food, there could be risks for consumers health. Though, Italian law allows the use of recycled papers for food purposes, setting quite high tolerance for potential harmful substances. This regulatory gap leaves enough time to one of the most discussed theme in this field, so that a reduction of the limits imposed by law is expected.

That’s why we suggest, when producing food packaging, carefully choosing between virgin fibre or recycled paperboard.


3. Use the right paperboard according to design choices

As said in several occasions, packaging design should impress your customer and reveal part of the box content. Choosing a paper able to give great results about that as well is another fundamental aspect to consider for a professional packaging creation.

One of the most common question addressed to us is about the best paper to use in order to realise a cosmetic packaging. If you desire a material with an higher white point, we suggest virgin fibre papers, like the Iggesund Invercote Creato, one of the most appreciated material on this market. If you want to design an irregular-shaped packaging with many creases instead, we suggest preferring a paper characterised by a lower thickness, to avoid the paperboard tearing. In fact, thickest papers are more likely to peel.

These are just a few suggestions based on the most frequently asked questions, but the world of material for packaging production is very rich. Last suggestion, you need always to ask yourself which are the features the paper should have to achieve your goal.


And you, how do you select the right paperboard for your packaging?