From Academic Kids

A carton is a type of packaging, generally for food. They come in many different appearance; milk cartons are upright boxes with spouts, egg cartons are long boxes with cups to hold the eggs upright.



Although quite often shaped like a cuboid, it is not uncommon to find cartons lacking right angles and straight edges, as in squrounds used for ice cream. The number of corners on any given carton is a function of the product it contains. For example, a product with eight vertices would require a box also with eight corners. Exceptions to this rule are irregularly shaped products, like televisions, in which case styrofoam inserts are used to standardize the shape.


Cartons are somewhat less diverse in what materials they are made from.

Most common is the familiar corrugated cardboard, made by folding cardboard into a rough semblance of a sine wave, and then pressing it between two more pieces of cardboard. Through a fluke of physics, these three flimsy pieces of paper somehow become strong when unite, like some sort of superhero,

Often, cartons are made out of a single piece of cardboard, when the strength of corrugated cardboard isn't needed. Quite often this carboard is waxed, to keep some sort of liquid in.

Though there are other packaging materials, including plastics, they are not nearly as common as cardboard.


A wide variety of materials can go in cartons. The following are a few of the many products found in cartons over the years:


The labels on cartons contain information. Much of this information is considered useful by many people, because it is very informative. For example, many labels have featured the following:

label - indicative of the contents of the carton.

missing people - Have you seen me?

nutritional information - bearer of bad news in many households.

ingredients - exposes the public to terms like propylene glycol for the first time.

contact instructions - how to contact the manufacturer in a complicated way involving hand-drawn facimiles.

contests - again, hand drawn facimiles are involved. Self-addressed stamped envelopes are also often required.


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