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What are E-commerce Cardboard Envelopes?

No Comments    |        |    February 8, 2024    |    Reading time 6 minutes
eco friendly ecommerce cardboard envelopes for Sky mobile and Sky TV

In the world of e-commerce, packaging is not just a necessity, but a crucial element of the customer experience. Among the various packaging options, cardboard envelopes hold a significant place due to their versatility, affordability, and eco-friendliness. This glossary article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of e-commerce cardboard envelopes and related packaging terminology.

As you delve into the world of e-commerce packaging, you'll encounter a variety of terms and concepts. This glossary will serve as your comprehensive guide, breaking down complex jargon into understandable language. So, whether you're an e-commerce business owner, a packaging designer, or simply a curious reader, this glossary will help you navigate the intricate landscape of e-commerce packaging.

Understanding E-commerce Packaging

E-commerce packaging refers to the materials and processes used to protect products ordered online during transit. It's a broad term that encompasses a variety of packaging types, including cardboard envelopes, boxes, bubble wrap, and more. The primary purpose of e-commerce packaging is to ensure that products reach customers in pristine condition, but it also plays a role in branding and customer satisfaction.

Choosing the right e-commerce packaging is a balancing act. Businesses must consider factors like cost, environmental impact, product protection, and customer experience. Among the many options available, cardboard envelopes have emerged as a popular choice for many businesses, thanks to their unique combination of benefits.

Cardboard Envelopes in E-commerce Packaging

Cardboard envelopes, also known as paperboard mailers, are a type of e-commerce packaging made from thick, rigid paper. They're typically used for shipping flat items, such as books, documents, or small electronics. Cardboard envelopes are appreciated for their durability, lightweight nature, and ease of use. They can be easily sealed with adhesive strips and opened by the customer with a simple tear strip.

One of the key advantages of cardboard envelopes is their environmental friendliness. They're typically made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable, making them a sustainable choice for businesses looking to reduce their environmental footprint. Additionally, their compact size and flat shape make them a cost-effective option for shipping, as they take up less space than boxes and require less filler material.

Key Terms in E-commerce Packaging

As you delve deeper into the world of e-commerce packaging, you'll encounter a variety of terms. Understanding these terms is crucial to making informed decisions about your packaging strategy. In this section, we'll explore some of the most common terms related to e-commerce packaging and cardboard envelopes.

From 'biodegradable' to 'tear strip', each term carries its own significance in the packaging industry. By understanding these terms, you'll be better equipped to choose the right packaging for your business and communicate effectively with suppliers and customers.


Heavy duty corrugated envelope with peel and seal strip

In the context of e-commerce packaging, 'biodegradable' refers to materials that can be broken down by microorganisms into natural elements like water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. Biodegradable packaging is seen as a more environmentally friendly option, as it reduces waste and pollution. However, it's important to note that not all biodegradable materials break down quickly or completely, and some require specific conditions to biodegrade.

Many cardboard envelopes are biodegradable, as they're made from natural fibres. However, elements like adhesives, inks, and laminates can affect the biodegradability of the envelope. Therefore, businesses looking to use biodegradable cardboard envelopes should check with their supplier to ensure that all components of the envelope are indeed biodegradable.

Tear Strip

Heavy duty corrugated envelope with paper based tear strip 100% recyclable biodegradable

A tear strip is a feature found on many types of e-commerce packaging, including cardboard envelopes. It's a thin strip of material that's designed to be pulled, causing the package to open easily. Tear strips provide a convenient way for customers to open their packages without the need for scissors or other tools.

For businesses, incorporating a tear strip into your cardboard envelopes can enhance the customer experience. It makes the unboxing process smoother and more enjoyable, which can contribute to positive brand perception. However, it's important to ensure that the tear strip is designed in a way that doesn't compromise the security of the package during transit.

Choosing the Right Cardboard Envelopes for Your Business

Choosing the right cardboard envelopes for your e-commerce business involves considering a variety of factors. These include the size and weight of your products, your budget, your brand image, and your commitment to sustainability. In this section, we'll explore some key considerations to help you make an informed decision.

Remember, the right packaging can enhance your brand image, improve customer satisfaction, and even reduce costs. Therefore, it's worth taking the time to understand your options and choose the best cardboard envelopes for your needs.

Size and Weight Considerations

The size and weight of your products are crucial factors when choosing cardboard envelopes. You'll need to ensure that the envelopes are large enough to accommodate your products without being too bulky or wasteful. Additionally, the envelopes should be sturdy enough to protect your products during transit.

Many suppliers offer a range of sizes and thicknesses, so you can choose the best fit for your products. It's also worth considering whether you need any special features, such as padding or reinforced corners, to provide extra protection for fragile items.

Brand Image and Customer Experience

Your packaging is often the first physical touchpoint between your brand and your customers, so it's important to make a good impression. The design and quality of your cardboard envelopes can reflect your brand image and values. For example, if you're a luxury brand, you might opt for high-quality, custom-printed envelopes. If you're an eco-conscious brand, you might choose envelopes made from recycled materials.

Additionally, consider the unboxing experience you want to create for your customers. Features like tear strips, easy-open tabs, and custom printing can enhance the unboxing experience and make your brand more memorable.

Environmental Considerations

With growing awareness of environmental issues, many businesses are looking to reduce their impact by choosing sustainable packaging options. Cardboard envelopes are a popular choice due to their recyclability and biodegradability. However, there are still factors to consider when choosing the most eco-friendly envelopes for your business.

From the materials used to the manufacturing process, each aspect of your cardboard envelopes can affect their environmental footprint. In this section, we'll explore some key environmental considerations to help you make a more sustainable choice.

Materials and Recyclability

Cardboard envelopes are typically made from paper fibres, which are a renewable resource. Many are also made from recycled materials, which reduces the demand for new paper and helps conserve forests. When choosing cardboard envelopes, look for ones that are made from a high percentage of recycled content.

Additionally, consider the recyclability of your envelopes. While cardboard is generally recyclable, certain elements like adhesives, inks, and laminates can make recycling more difficult. Therefore, it's important to check with your supplier to ensure that your envelopes are fully recyclable.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process can also impact the environmental footprint of your cardboard envelopes. For example, processes that use a lot of water or energy, or that release harmful emissions, can be less sustainable. Some suppliers may use eco-friendly manufacturing processes, such as using renewable energy or minimising waste, which can make their envelopes more sustainable.

When choosing a supplier, it's worth asking about their manufacturing processes and any environmental certifications they hold. This can help you make a more informed decision and choose a supplier that aligns with your sustainability goals.


Understanding the terminology and considerations related to e-commerce packaging and cardboard envelopes is crucial for any e-commerce business. From choosing the right size and weight, to considering your brand image and environmental impact, each decision can have a significant impact on your business and your customers.

This glossary has provided a comprehensive overview of e-commerce cardboard envelopes and related packaging terminology. With this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your packaging strategy and create a positive, memorable experience for your customers.

Ready to take your e-commerce packaging to the next level? The Packaging Club specialises in creating bespoke packaging solutions that not only protect your products but also elevate your brand. With custom printed packaging designed to your exact specifications, we offer an array of printing technologies including high-quality 8 colour flexographic, premium lithographic, and versatile digital printing to ensure your packaging stands out.

Our high-speed gluing and special finishing options, such as metallic foil and UV varnish, add that extra touch of elegance to your unboxing experience. Committed to sustainability, we use materials from certified sustainable sources and plant-based inks to help you achieve your CSR goals. All our bespoke packaging is proudly made in the UK, offering you unparalleled quality and capacity. Enhance your customer's unboxing experience while saving on costs and labour with The Packaging Club.

Learn more about bespoke packaging and how we can tailor it to fit your business needs.

This article was written by...

Nathan Calvert

Nathan is Head of Digital at The Packaging Club. He has worked in the packaging sector for over 15 years across food, consumer electronics, FMCG ecommerce and more, both directly in-house or as a freelance consultant.

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