We talked a bit about plastic boxes not very long ago, as they may be an attractive alternative to cardboard on many fronts. Plastic is a very durable material built to last, and even when not in storage plastic boxes can be used to keep items or carry out other household functions without looking too much of an eyesore.
Plastic boxes are generally more expensive than cardboard. It is understood when buying them that they represent a longer term investment than cardboard, which may eventually lose its resilience after a small number of uses. For your money you will most likely also get some other useful features than just an area to pack in, such as handles moulded into the material for easy carrying, and quite often a lid as well, which may be on a hinge or be a separate item that locks onto moulding on the perimeter of the topside. Obviously, being of a strong material and able to enclose items, the boxes are also easy to stack, especially ones of similar make which may be designed to fit perfectly on top of each other, possibly also offering grooves that lock in for extra security. There may be other practical benefits – if the box is made of transparent plastic then you can easily see what is in it, without requiring too much rummaging through.
Being a somewhat more rigid and resistant material than cardboard, plastic boxes provide useful protection against the effects of dust and damp – they are airtight more or less. This means that should there be leakage or damp in your storage area, that should not find itself creeping into a plastic box with a lid, but by the same token putting damp items into a plastic container is not a good idea in itself. Also materials and fabrics that benefit from a bit of breathing potential are much better put in cardboard.
Whilst you shouldn’t overfill boxes so that they are hazard to pick up, you may be able to box items to a heavier weight using plastic rather than cardboard as it will take a lot of force for the bottom to give way. This means that they might be good for those items that are easy to pack but less easy to carry in bulk, such as books, records and CDs.
Plastic for the cost may be worth the money if you need a durable storage solution – there is no reason why you can’t get a lifetime’s use out of a box. And ironically, they store well themselves, with boxes of similar model often being designed to fit neatly inside one another.
Posted in: Storage Info