What Is the Best Glue for Corrugated Cardboard Shipping Boxes?

Choosing a glue to secure corrugated cardboard boxes is a critical decision. Your business needs to ensure its boxes will remain sturdy throughout shipping and handling. The glue you pick can also significantly impact recycling and how the boxes break down once in the trash. 

Whether you’re looking to save costs or reduce adverse environmental impacts, understanding the role of shipping box glues can help you make a wise decision. A quality adhesive will ensure your customers receive your products in the best possible condition. 

Let’s examine which corrugated adhesive is best for cardboard shipping boxes and why you should choose the most sustainable glue option. 

4 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Adhesive

Before selecting an adhesive for your shipping boxes, consider the following factors. 

1. Materials

The material you are working with is the first variable your business should pay attention to. If you use corrugated cardboard shipping boxes, you must choose a glue that will sufficiently bond to the box’s surface without damaging the material. For example, wood glue can cause the cardboard to become oversaturated and wrinkled. 

2. Quality

The glue’s overall quality is also paramount. Choose an adhesive that keeps shipping boxes intact and sturdy. If you use a substandard option, the cardboard will not stay stuck, and boxes carrying heavier loads could end up bursting open. 

3. Environment

Another critical factor to consider is the environment. For instance, some glues have strict temperature requirements for the application process. 

Your business should also evaluate the conditions your shipping boxes will encounter during travel. For instance, water-soluble adhesives will lose effectiveness in overly warm or moist environments. 

4. Cost

The final variable to account for is cost. The glue’s ingredients will directly impact its overall prices. 

If you want to save money, your business will likely need to choose raw materials that are plentiful, easy to source and inexpensive. 

The Best Type of Glue for Corrugated Cardboard

When working with corrugated cardboard shipping boxes, the best adhesive to use is starch-based glue. 

This adhesive, also called vegetable glue, is an environmentally friendly option made from natural polymers found in the seeds and roots of many plants, including: 

  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Tapioca
  • Wheat

To create this adhesive, manufacturers use a few ingredients to create an odorless powder, then mix it with water. The powder can consist of the following components:

  • Natural polymers
  • Borax
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Steam

During the manufacturing process, vegetable glue does not require any specific temperature for application. In comparison, a protein-based glue needs a low-humidity environment and higher temperature. 

Starch-based glue is moisture-curing, meaning the moisture evaporates and the glue hardens as it dries.

In addition to gluing corrugated cardboard shipping boxes, you can also use starch-based adhesive for the following applications:

  • Labeling
  • Envelopes
  • Paper bags
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Lamination
  • Tube winding

Why Is Starch-Based Glue Best for Corrugated Cardboard?

Starch-based glue is the best option for corrugated cardboard for a few reasons. 

Your business can rely on this adhesive to assemble sturdy shipping boxes that are ready for transit. The glue dries and gelatinizes, creating a durable bond between the cardboard pieces without saturating the material. 

Vegetable glue also has a minimal environmental impact, since it derives from natural elements that are readily available for production.

Key Benefits of Using Starch-Based Glue

The following are some primary advantages of using starch-based glue for corrugated cardboard shipping boxes.


Sustainability is one of the most significant advantages of using vegetable glue for cardboard boxes. This adhesive is better for the planet than many alternatives because its ingredients come from renewable resources such as corn and rice. 

Starch-based adhesives do not have toxic chemicals, making them less harmful to the environment when they decompose. This glue is also better for reducing packaging waste because it does not impact the corrugated cardboard’s recyclability like other adhesives can. 

Vegetable glue is a plastic-free alternative to tape, making it an even better choice for sustainability. 


Starch-based glue is an excellent option for your corrugated cardboard shipping boxes because it offers stability and strength. It bonds cardboard materials to ensure your products remain secure during travel. By comparison, you risk damaging or losing items in transit by using inferior adhesives. 

Vegetable glue is a reliable choice for shipping boxes, and it can maintain its bond in a wide range of temperatures and environments. 


Another benefit of using starch-based adhesives is cost. Because they are a renewable resource, they are readily available and abundant. Obtaining the natural materials to produce vegetable glue is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, leading to lower overall prices.

Using a plastic-free and natural glue reduces waste while conserving resources. You can effectively decrease production and shipping expenses. 

By using starch-based glue, you also have an opportunity to establish and market your brand and its products as eco-friendly.

The Importance of Using an Eco-Friendly Glue

When choosing a glue for corrugated cardboard or any other product packaging, it is vital to use eco-friendly options when possible. 

In 2018, packaging generated 82 million tons of solid waste. Businesses can help effectively decrease that number and help the environment by using more sustainable materials for their product packaging and shipping boxes. 

Natural glue makes recycling corrugated cardboard shipping boxes easier. And since it derives from renewable resources, it has less environmental impact. 

Find Corrugated Cardboard Shipping Boxes From Bolt Boxes

If you need high-quality corrugated cardboard shipping boxes, turn to Bolt Boxes. With over 60 years of experience in the box-making business, we have the expertise to help your organization design the perfect solutions for your products. 

When you work with us, you can enjoy the world’s fastest custom box manufacturing process. From design to printing to delivery, we will ensure you get what you need. We aim to impress every customer with the highest-quality boxes possible. 

Are you interested in learning more? Reach out to us to talk to a representative today!