08 Oct 2009 Sustainable Packaging Solution – Corrugated Partitions
I think most would agree that corrugated board is one of the greenest packaging materials currently available. You can buy it with a high or 100% recycled content and when it is no longer needed, it can easily and readily be recycled to serve another day and another packaging application.
Partitions have been rediscovered by the green and packaging communities as a great way to solve a packaging or damage problem, while reducing material and labor costs when compared to other product protection options. Best of all, it can all be accomplished with undeniably eco friendly, corrugated board.
Corrugated Partitions – Not Just for Liquor Bottles Anymore
Historically corrugated partitions have been a mainstay in the liquor and bottled beverage industry because they do such an excellent job of separating and protecting one product from another. Obviously bottle to bottle damage is virtually eliminated and other benefits are also enjoyed.
- Labels are not marred or damaged in shipment because label to label abrasion is prevented.
- Stacking strength is dramatically increased, even when the bottled and cased products are heavy liquids
- Bottles and jars remain upright, minimizing the possibility of leakers
New Applications for Eco Friendly Corrugated Partitions
Recently we have had a flurry of partition projects and applications and here are a few reasons why our customers chose this solution over other options we offered:
To verify count – Products were individually wrapped with Kraft paper to avoid damage and then randomly stacked and packed in a corrugated case. Our customer was being inundated by claims of incorrect counts. Coincidently the complaints were always for under shipment, never over, so we created a 20 cell partition that separated the individual products for easy, accurate count confirmation.
To minimize other packaging – We recently did a partition and shipping box design for products individually packaged in very attractive paperboard boxes. The partition kept them apart to avoid surface to surface abrasion but it also enabled our client to use a lighter weight box paperboard than originally planned. The partitions provided all the strength necessary to prevent the retail box from crushing so it looked great on the shelf. We were also able to design in a perimeter air cell to protect the product from the outside as well.
Any customers contemplating an increase in case thickness or grade because of shipping damage should consider partitions as a better and lower cost solution.
To satisfy a retailer’s request – In case you have not noticed, retailers depend on their suppliers to deliver product that is display ready. This created a problem for our client who was hand wrapping a semi fragile product in indented Kraft paper for cushioning and cleanliness. The retailer did not want their people to have to unwrap the products for display. Partitions solved the problem and increased our client’s sustainability score because many square inches of paper were eliminated.
Are “Built In” Partitions Right For You?
Many people do not realize partitions can be purchased pre-assembled but in some situations the space required for them may be an issue. One possible solution is utilizing a die cut box design that incorporates partitions. It is very possible an existing die can be used to avoid tooling costs, such as the jar/mug/candle box shown in the photograph below. There is no question that a design like this will be more expensive than a box with a separately constructed partition but it may not be as much as you think when you factor in all of the costs involved and depending on size, quantity, etc.
Corrugated partitions are just one of many solutions we offer and our advice to customers is always to consider the options before committing to the same, often ineffective and over priced solutions. Packaging products are constantly improving and many “old” solutions and designs are being re-invented to solve today’s difficult, green packaging challenges.