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Product support

Find helpful information about Sourceful products. Learn about recycling, custom sizing and more.

Selection of e-commerce packaging products including shipping boxes, mailer boxes and tapes. Three white cards are displayed showing price per unit, approximate delivery time and the carbon estimate per unit.
Last updated: Mar 18th, 2022

Mailer Box

Disposal

Sourceful mailer boxes are widely roadside recyclable*, but depending on which features you add, your customers may need to remove certain components before recycling:

  • If your mailer box has no features (like a single peel & seal), your customers can simply flatten their box after use and put it in the recycling bin.
  • If your mailer box has a single peel & seal or a double peel & seal, your customers will have to remove them before recycling at the roadside. peel & seals contain an adhesive and a fibre-based or plastic-based cover paper, which can’t be widely recycled. Your customers should put any peel & seal in the general waste.

* Customers should always check with their local authority before recycling.

Note: Mailer boxes made from white coated board are still widely roadside recyclable. Whilst this material is coated in refined clay and is treated with a water-based varnish to enhance print quality, these are typically removed by screening equipment during recycling.


Recycling symbols

As mailer boxes are widely recyclable, you can print or stick a recycling logo on your box. We recommend using one of the two logos below on your mailer box:

  • Mobius loop: one of the most common symbols that indicates a product is recyclable.
  • PAP 20: this recycling symbol is for corrugated cardboard boxes only. If you use this logo, you must make it clear that non-cardboard materials like tape need to be removed before recycling.

Custom sizing

With custom sizing, you can choose any length, width and height, as long as they don’t exceed the minimum and maximum dimensions possible for a product. For mailer boxes:

  • Length: 110 - 450mm
  • Width: 100 - 350mm
  • Height: 17 - 120mm

Here are a few more ideas to keep in mind when creating custom sizes:

  1. Mailer boxes with a height less than 25mm may be harder to fold, especially with double-sided, white coated paper.
  2. Mailer boxes with a height less than 35mm and a length of more than 200mm may experience bowing at the front of the box. This can create a gap, which you can seal with a sticker or tape.
  3. Mailer boxes with a width of less than 25% of the total length are structurally weaker than boxes with a width of more than 25% of their length.



Assembly

Your mailer boxes will arrive in an unfolded stack, which is ideal for storage. When you want to assemble a mailer box:

  1. Put an unassembled mailer box on a flat surface, inside facing up.

  2. Use the score lines to carefully fold each section of the box inwards. Don't use too much force: the aim is to loosen the folds so it's easier to assemble.

    Note: Your sidewalls will have two score lines close together. Fold both separately. These allow the sidewalls to fold over the front and back flaps later on.

  3. Let each section lie flat again.

  4. Fold the front and back walls so they are at 90 degrees.

  5. Tuck the front and back flaps in. You should now have the interior of your mailer box, with the lid open and the side walls still flat.

  6. Fold the side walls up and over the tucked flaps. Fit them into the slots found in the base of your mailer box.

    Note: You can now fill your mailer box.

  7. Tuck the flaps in on the lid and close the lid. Two of the flaps will fold into the space created by the side walls.

Storage

Mailer boxes are at risk from environmental conditions like humidity and moisture. We recommend following these storage guidelines to prevent any damage to your mailer boxes and keep them in the best possible condition:

  1. When your mailer boxes are delivered, move them inside as soon as possible to avoid them getting damaged by adverse weather. Mailer boxes shouldn’t be kept outside for long periods of time.
  2. Store your mailer boxes in a dry environment, away from possible sources of moisture like rain, leaks or areas of high humidity.
  3. Store your mailer boxes in an environment with a relatively constant temperature. Large fluctuations in temperature can weaken corrugated board.
  4. If your mailer boxes arrive shrink wrapped, keep them shrink wrapped until you need to use them. Shrink wrap acts as a layer of extra protection against moisture.

Self Adhesive Tape

Disposal

Self adhesive tape isn't recyclable on its own as it uses a laminated layer to secure any ink. To avoid contaminating waste streams, dispose of it with general waste.

Self adhesive tape is, however, recyclable when adhered to paper-based packaging that is recyclable, like a mailer box, unless the weight of the tape is over 20% of the total packaging weight.


Application

You can apply self adhesive tape with a standard tape dispenser or by hand. We recommend using a tape dispenser for quick fulfilment.


Storage

Self adhesive tape has a shelf life of six months. We recommend following these storage guidelines to prevent any damage to your self adhesive tape and keep it in the best possible condition:

  1. Store your self adhesive tape in an environment with a temperature of 17°C or above.
  2. Keep your self adhesive tape away from any UV light exposure as this can weaken the adhesive.

Gummed Tape

Disposal

Gummed tape is 100% roadside recyclable which means you can recycle it at home.


Application

To apply gummed tape, you need a water-activated gummed tape dispenser. These can either be manual or electronic. How each dispenser works may vary, so we recommend following the instructions that come with yours.


Manual gummed tape dispenser

+ Cost-effective

+ Good for low volumes

+ Doesn't depend on electricity

- Requires some manual input


Electronic gummed tape dispenser

+ Best for high volumes

+ The fastest way to apply gummed tape

+ The easiest way to apply gummed tape

- Can be expensive


Storage

Gummed tape has a shelf life of two years.

Stickers

Disposal

Stickers are recyclable, but only when stuck to other recyclable products, like a mailer box. This includes stickers with a splashproof coating. If you need to dispose of stickers on their own, however, they should be put in the general waste bin.


Custom sizing

With custom sizing, you can choose any width and height, as long as they don’t exceed the minimum and maximum dimensions possible for a product. For stickers:

Rolls

  • Min: W10 x H50mm
  • Max: W320 x H200mm

Sheets

  • Min: W10 x H10mm
  • Max: W320 x H320mm


Application

To apply by hand:

  1. Peel off the backing paper. Put it in the general waste bin.
  2. Apply the sticker to your chosen surface. Make sure your surface is clean and dry as dirt and moisture can weaken the adhesive.

If you're using a sticker dispenser, how each dispenser works often varies. Because of this, we recommend following the instructions that come with yours.

Note: Our stickers are outside wound, right edge first. They also have a core diameter of 82.5mm and there’s a 3mm distance between stickers on a roll.


Storage

Stickers have a shelf life of 12 months.

Shipping Box

Disposal

Shipping boxes are 100% recyclable and widely recycled at the roadside by local authorities*. To recycle:

  1. Flatten your shipping box.
  2. Remove any plastic tape used to seal the box. This should be put in the general waste. Gummed tape does not need to be removed.
  3. Put it in the recycling bin.

Tip: Flattened shipping boxes are more efficient to transport and use less space in bins.

*Customers should always check with their local authority before recycling.

Recycling symbols

As shipping boxes are widely recyclable, you can print or stick a recycling logo on your box. We recommend using one of the two logos below on your shipping box:

  • Mobius loop: one of the most common symbols that indicates a product is recyclable.
  • PAP 20: this recycling symbol is for corrugated cardboard boxes only. If you use this logo, you must make it clear that non-cardboard materials like tape need to be removed before recycling.

Custom sizing

With custom sizing, you can choose any length, width and height, as long as they don’t exceed the minimum and maximum dimensions possible for a product. For shipping boxes:

  • Length: 250 - 700mm
  • Width: 250 - 500mm
  • Height: 250 - 500mm

Here are a few more guidelines for creating custom sizes:

  1. The width cannot exceed the length.
  2. The width cannot be less than 50% of the length.
  3. The height cannot be less than 20% of the length.
  4. The maximum size for a shipping box using B-flute is 500x300x300mm. If any dimension exceeds this, you must choose between EB-flute and BC-flute.

Assembly

Your shipping boxes will arrive pre-glued in a flat stack, which is ideal for storage. When you want to assemble a shipping box:

  1. Unfold the shipping box. You should now have the interior of your shipping box with both ends open.
  2. If the box is facing right side up, flip it over.
  3. Fold the four bottom flaps inwards to create the base of your shipping box. Fold two, opposite flaps at a time. You should now have the base of your shipping box.
  4. Apply a strip of packing tape across the middle of the base where the two outer flaps meet. Make sure the tape extends at least 5cm up the side of the box.
  5. Apply a strip of packing tape across the other two open edges. Again, make sure each strip extends at least 5cm across the next side.
  6. Flip the box over so it’s facing right side up. Your shipping box should now have a sealed base with the top flaps still open.
  7. You can now fill your shipping box.
  8. Fold the four top flaps inwards to create the lid. Seal with strips of packing tape.

Storage

Shipping boxes are at risk from environmental conditions like humidity and moisture. We recommend following these storage guidelines to prevent any damage to your shipping boxes and keep them in the best possible condition:

  1. When your shipping boxes are delivered, move them inside as soon as possible to avoid them getting damaged by adverse weather. Shipping boxes shouldn’t be kept outside for long periods of time.
  2. Store your shipping boxes in a dry environment, away from possible sources of moisture like rain, leaks or areas of high humidity.
  3. Store your shipping boxes in an environment with a relatively constant temperature. Large fluctuations in temperature can weaken corrugated board.
  4. If your shipping boxes arrive shrink wrapped, keep them shrink wrapped until you need to use them. Shrink wrap acts as a layer of extra protection against moisture.

Testing

We send our shipping boxes for independent testing throughout the year. Shipping boxes are then subject to an Edge Crush Test and Box Compression Test:

Edge Crush Test

An Edge Crush Test (ECT) tests the compressive strength of a corrugated board. A sample piece of board is placed with its edge and fluting facing vertically before it is progressively compressed between two flat metal plates. This mimics the crushing forces when corrugated packaging, like shipping boxes, is stacked. An ECT establishes the maximum load for a specific corrugated board as well as its overall quality.

Box Compression Test

A Box Compression Test (BCT) tests the compressive strength of a corrugated box. An assembled box is placed between two flat metal plates before it is progressively compressed. This mimics the crushing forces when corrugated boxes are stacked on pallets or in storage. BCTs are used to establish the force a corrugated box can withstand before deforming. Or in other words, its stacking capability.