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Top 4 Benefits of Bag-in-Box Packaging

Apr 22, 2022

Here at Betco®, efforts towards sustainability and environmental responsibility are held to a high company standard. We work hard to meet or exceed health and environmental standards through our ever-evolving products, programs, and services. We are now taking our next step towards a greener Earth by introducing the new bag-in-box packaging initiative.

A bag-in-box is one way to store and transport liquids from place to place. Instead of utilizing a plastic pail, liquid product resides in a strong plastic bag inside of a corrugated fiberboard box. Usually, a spigot is also attached for easy dispensing of the product. The bag-in-box packaging as a whole is more compact for increased transportation and storage efficiency as well as easier use. In addition, the change from plastic pails to bag-in-box allows for an overall lower carbon footprint. Continue reading to learn the top 4 benefits of bag-in-box packaging and why the conversion from plastic pails is important.

"Switching to bag-in-box cuts greenhouse gases by 52% and energy in production by up to 81%."

1. Sustainable Manufacturing

The manufacturing of bag-in-box packaging is significantly more sustainable than plastic pails because it uses fewer resources. Most pails are made entirely from a high-density polyethylene, which is a more rigid plastic that—according to the Environmental Protection Agency—is only recycled about 30% of the time. The production process of plastic uses petrochemicals as a raw material and generates greenhouse gas emissions as it’s produced. Bag-in-box uses less plastic because only the bag part is made out of plastic, and it is a lower density type, reducing the overall amount of plastic used as well as emissions and waste.

Cardboard is a material with one of the lowest environmental impacts because it is 100% biodegradable and recyclable. More specifically, corrugated cardboard degrades within a year maximum. More than 75% of a bag-in-box package is corrugated and fully recyclable, renewable, and biodegradable. The other 25% is the plastic, the recyclability of which depends on the geographical location and its collecting, sorting, and recycling infrastructure. 

A graph comparing plastic pails and bag-in-box and their total material, energy, and process greenhouse gas. Bag-in-box has lower numbers. A bar graph the shows pails versus bag-in-box and the pounds of material sent to landfill yearly. Bag-in-box is significantly less.
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge

Thanks to sustainable manufacturing, less resources, and more recyclable materials, switching to bag-in-box cuts greenhouse gases by 52% and energy in production by to up 81%.

2. Efficient Transportation

Bag-in-box products are more convenient to ship and transport. Their rectangular-shaped package takes up less space and are able to easily be stacked together. A skid comprises 50 bag-in-box units but only 36 plastic pail units. This means more bag-in-box products can be shipped at once. As a result, CO2 emissions are lowered because fewer trucks are needed to transport bag-in-box products.

Similarly, for inbound freight, there can be 3,000 empty bags-in-boxes per skid and only 132 empty pails per skid. Empty bag-in-box packaging can be delivered flat and take up very little space. Using the same logic as above, this means there are fewer CO2 emissions due to needing fewer trucks to transport empty bag-in-box packages.

Another important note is the ability of bag-in-box packaging to protect the product as it is shipped, so it arrives undamaged and sealed. Compared to pails, the risk of damaged goods is lower for bag-in-box products. With pails, the rigid plastic can crack and bust, especially when the product is stacked too high and/or when a truck hits a bump on the road. This can also happen when pails lean forward if the driver needs to brake hard or if the bales are facing inward. Bag-in-box is more flexible due to the cardboard and plastic bag, which makes it harder for the packaging to break and product to leak during transportation. Further protection is provided by shrink wrap.

3. Storage Benefits

Once the product arrives at a warehouse or facility, it needs to be stored in the appropriate location to await shipment or for later use. This can be a challenge due to small and tight spaces. Bag-in-box’s simple shape and size help minimize space requirements. When stacked, there is no dead space between the boxes. On the other hand, pails are usually circular. When stacked, there is a dead space because they do not fit evenly next to each other, as shown below. 

On the left, there is a skid of bag-in-boxes. On the right, there is a skid of pails

In total, there is a 39% reduction in cubic feet for bag-in-box compared to pails. Bag-in-box skids, for example, are 33 cubic feet for 200 gallons. Pail skids are 59 cubic feet for 180 gallons. That’s 20 more gallons of product in 26 less cubic feet for bag-in-box.

4. Ease of Use

Beyond just efficient transportation and storage, the rectangular shape of bag-in-box makes it easier for employees to carry or haul the products to wherever they are needed. Once there, to help with dispensing, there are conveniently placed spigots that release product when opened and block product when closed. This means product can be dispensed without the bag-in-box ever leaving the storage shelf or other flat surface. This is more convenient for customers because, unlike a pail, it does not require additional labor and strength to lift and pour product out.

Other common issues with plastic pails include heavy surging or glugging when product is poured out, as well as extra time and effort to scrape the sides to use all available product. With the bag-in-box spigot, customers can dispense a specific amount of product, eliminating overflow and extra mess. The spigot feature also allows a 99% evacuation rate, meaning nearly all the product inside the bag can be used without hassle, so customers receive the full value of what was purchased more easily. 

Hard as Nails in a bag-in-box package

Betco Bag-in-Box

Betco is making the switch to the bag-in-box packaging to improve sustainable efforts and help eliminate our carbon footprint. We believe this change will help our customers and the environment simultaneously through many benefits, including manufacturing, transportation, storage, and application.

For more information, click here. If you have any questions about bag-in-box, please fill out our online contact us form, or call 1-888-GO-BETCO to speak with a representative today.