Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box

Over the past couple of years, boxes have made a comeback as the packaging of choice for brands looking to increase shelf appeal both in-store and online. The growing popularity of e-commerce and the rise of “experience packaging”, in which the act of unpacking a new product becomes an integral part of a new purchase, are making visually-appealing delivery and packaging boxes more important than ever. 

But at a time when consumers, companies and regulators are paying more and more attention to sustainability, can retailers offer great looks without using hidden plastics or non-recyclable materials? The answer, in a word, is yes! Let’s find out more.

The challenges of creating eco-friendly packaging board

There’s a reason why so many packaging products contain plastics: not only do laminated plastic films offer barrier properties and protect the box during the delivery process, they also offer the attractive glossy looks that are appreciated by premium brands. The problem is that composite packaging materials - meaning those that contain layers of board, plastic and metal - are difficult and energy-intensive to recycle, making them a less than ideal choice for conscientious consumers.

As a result, brands wishing to reduce their use of PET films or foils have until relatively recently been confronted with the unappealing prospect of having to package their products in plain paper or cardboard - not a great option for those seeking to stand out on the shelves. Thankfully, innovative production techniques such as metallized vacuum vaporisation mean that companies no longer have to choose between sustainability and aesthetics.

Premium packaging without the environmental impact

Metallized vacuum vaporisation involves misting plain paper with a microscopically thin layer of aluminium. The result is metallized paper, which can be combined with SBS board to offer boxes with similar performance and looks to metallized PET board, but with far more positive impact on the environment. Not only is metallized paper based on eco-friendly production processes, it can also be recycled using conventional streams, unlike its composite alternatives.

Metallized paper and board offer a wide range of design possibilities, including high gloss and holographic finishes, alongside a sturdy finish that enable delivery to end users in perfect condition.

Get in touch with AR Metallizing to find out how we can help you create boxes that will look great both on shelves and online.