About Paperboard Packaging

Paperboard Grades

Great packages begin with the right material - one that can deliver performance, quality and reliability for the product it houses. Paperboard packaging comes in several different grades that possess unique characteristics making each grade suitable for different packaging requirements and needs.

Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS)

Bleached paperboard or solid bleached sulfate (SBS) is a premium coated paperboard grade that is produced from a furnish containing at least 80 percent virgin bleached wood pulp. Most bleached paperboard is coated with a thin layer of kaolin clay to improve its printing surface and may also be coated with polyethylene (PE) resin for wet strength food packaging. SBS is most popular in the United States.

Major market segments that use SBS:
  • Medical packaging
  • Milk and juice gable top cartons
  • Aseptic drink boxes
  • Cosmetic and perfume packaging
  • Frozen food packaging
  • Candy boxes

Coated Unbleached Kraft Paperboard (CUK)

Clay natural kraft (CNK®) or solid unbleached sulfate (SUS®) is a superior strength paperboard grade that is produced from a furnish containing at least 80 percent virgin unbleached, natural wood pulp. Most unbleached or natural kraft paperboard is coated with a thin layer of kaolin clay to improve its printing surface and may also be coated with polyethylene (PE) resin for wet strength food packaging.

Major market segments that use CUK:
  • Frozen food packaging
  • Beverage Cartons and Carriers
  • Pharmaceutical packaging

Uncoated Recycled Paperboard

Uncoated recycled paperboard, a multiply material, is produced from 100 percent recovered paper-collected from paper manufacturing and converting plants and post-industrial sources and represents the single largest market for recovered paper in the United States. Some uncoated paperboard is produced with a top ply of white recovered fiber or is vat dyed for color.

Major market segments that use uncoated recycled paperboard:
  • Shoe boxes
  • Composite cans and fiber drums

Coated Recycled Paperboard

Coated recycled paperboard, a multiply material, is produced from 100 percent recovered paperboard just like uncoated recycled paperboard. However, it is typically coated with a thin layer of kaolin clay over a top ply of white recovered fiber to improve its printing surface.

Major market segments that use coated recycled paperboard:
  • Soap and laundry detergent packaging
  • Cookie and cracker packaging
  • Paper goods packaging (facial tissue and napkins)
  • Cake mix packaging
  • Cereal boxes
  • Other dry food packaging