FEFCO, ESBO and ECMA Packaging

Get Expert Guidance on Materials and Packaging Selection

Unleash the potential of your packaging with our range of corrugated and folding box board cartons, available in various grades to meet your specific needs. Our packaging experts will help you navigate the options and find the perfect type of box board that perfectly aligns with your product and requirements.

What Is FEFCO, ESBO and ECMA Packaging?

FEFCO, ESBO, and ECMA are industry organisations dedicated to maintaining packaging standards:

FEFCO packaging: The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers represents the corrugated packaging industry in Europe. They establish common standards, guidelines, and best practices for corrugated board and packaging manufacturing.

ESBO packaging: The European Solid Board Organisation represents European manufacturers of solid board packaging. They advocate for sustainable packaging solutions and provide guidelines for quality standards and manufacturing processes.

ECMA packaging: The European Carton Makers Association is a trade association for the European folding carton industry. They promote the use of folding cartons as packaging solutions and offer resources, standards, and support to carton manufacturers.

ESBO, ECMA and FECO Box Style Guide

The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO) and the European Solid Board Organisation (ESBO) play crucial roles in the standardisation of pack designs within the packaging industry. 

These official systems have been developed to provide a common framework and set of symbols for various types of fibreboard case and packaging constructions. By using standardised symbols, FEFCO and ESBO simplify the communication process and ensure that pack designs are universally understood.

FEFCO has established a comprehensive range of codes and symbols that represent different corrugated board packaging designs. These codes effectively replace complex verbal descriptions with visual representations, allowing for clear and concise communication between packaging professionals, manufacturers, and customers. This can be a specific FEFCO box style, a particular closure method, or a unique structural design. 

Similarly, ESBO focuses on standardising and listing common pack designs for solid board packaging. ESBO’s system of symbols provides a standardised language for describing and specifying different solid board pack designs, making it easier for manufacturers, suppliers, and customers to communicate packaging requirements.

To help you out, here’s the latest FEFCO/ESBO list, which can be downloaded in PDF format.

How Can Flexographic Printing Benefit Your Operation?

Types of Board Materials 

Let’s explore a variety of board packaging types that cater to diverse needs and applications. From corrugated board for robust protection to solid board for elegant presentation and folding cartons for convenient storage, we’ll get into the characteristics, benefits, and ideal uses of each type.

  • FEFCO Corrugated Packaging

FEFCO corrugated packaging board offers a wide selection of grades and profiles, ranging from recycled materials to virgin Kraft. With varying grammages available, you can choose from a range of FEFCO box styles to suit your specific packaging needs. 

  • Kraft/Test Paper and Fluting

Kraft paper, recycled paper fluting, and test recycled inner liners are the primary materials used in the production of corrugated boxes. The outer layer is lined with Kraft paper, which boasts a superior quality finish, enhanced strength, and an excellent printing surface. Our Kraft paper is sourced from sustainable virgin paper, providing optimal performance for custom corrugated boxes. We also use Kraft paper in our food packaging, as it’s recyclable and meets food-grade standards. 

  • White Paper

Using white paper as the external liner of your corrugated box offers a cost-effective solution. Using a premium aesthetic white paper delivers a refined finish and enhances print quality and makes your custom packaging designs stand out. The standard paper thickness ranges from 125gsm to 300gsm, while heavy-duty cases and boxes can be supplied with liners up to 1000gsm when necessary. It’s important to note that the strength of the box is influenced by both the paper thickness and the chosen fluting grade.

  • Corrugated Packaging Fluting

Corrugated boxes come in three main types of fluting: 

  • Single Face – a one-liner board and one fluted medium.
  • Single Wall – two liner boards and one fluted medium.
  • Double Wall – three liner boards and two fluted mediums.

Single Wall is the most common type of fluting as it offers strength and durability while remaining cost-effective. Double Wall fluting is the strongest option and provides robust protection for heavy or fragile items. Single Face fluting provides minimal cushioning, yet is highly cost-effective.

We also offer thinner micro flutings — contact us to find out more about the options we have available.

Folding Cartons (Folding Box Board)

Folding Box Board (FBB) is a kind of paperboard made of multiple layers of chemical and mechanical pulp. The top layer consists of bleached chemical pulp with an optional coloured pigment coating for customisation. This lightweight material offers excellent rigidity, printability, and the ability to be shaped into various forms and structures easily. 

Kraftpak® board, an unbleached and uncoated high-strength board, can also be used for folding cartons, particularly in food and beverage packaging, due to its ability to withstand moisture and grease. Specialised folding cartons can be created using coloured, metalised, textured, or pearlised boards. The flexibility of this material allows for the production of a wide range of custom boxes, gift packaging and retail cartons. 

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Expert packaging suppliers for over 40 years, with an emphasis on plastic-free packaging

In the late 1970s, two friends and colleagues, Tim Allen and Stewart Middleton saw a gap in the market for a different type of packaging supplier. At the time, other businesses were selling custom made boxes and stocking packaging consumables, but Tim and Stewart wanted to offer more than that. They wanted to give their clients additional services, such as warehouse storage and the ability to have their packaging delivered as and when it was required. Packaging Supplies was established, and the rest is history.

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