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Best Egg Carton Material- Pulp vs. Plastic

It is widely considered that pulp and plastic are two main materials of egg carton and are different in many perspectives. However, let’s put aside their chemical and physical differences and focus on five business factors that egg carton manufacturers or inclined startups care most:

Raw material 

▪ Plastic egg carton
The main raw material of plastic is refined from fossil raw materials such petroleum which is non-renewable source. 80% of plastic package cost has positive correlation with the price of petroleum. Thus, the cost of plastic egg carton is high and unstable.
▪ Pulp egg carton
Waste paper, idle magazines, unwanted shoebox… or any fiber product can be put into the pulp machine and turn into new pulp egg carton. The raw material of pulp is cheap, stable and inexhaustible.

egg carton material plastic
waste paper for pulp egg cartons

Production process

▪ Plastic egg carton
Other than raw material, the production of plastic and plastic egg carton also needs additives such as agents, lubricants, and pigments, synthetic resins, fillers, plasticizers, and stabilizers, etc, which will inevitably emits toxic gases such as Styrene and requires complex production equipment and precise operation.
▪ Pulp egg carton
The whole production of pulp and pulp egg tray is 100% pollution-free and non-toxic which matches the clean production requirement in the industry. Even through the production needs more water and electricity than plastic egg carton , there will be no discharge of wastewater because the water is recyclable for the next production. Operators of pulp egg carton making machine only need a short-time training to be skillful.


This is actually a very controversial factor for both material because they all have pros and cons. The choice of material is rather subjective based on manufactures’ different business considerations. Let’s have a look of the contrast form.

 Pulp egg trayPlastic egg tray
Low egg shell breakage rate✔ 
Waterproof ✔
More shipping volume✔ 
Lighter shipping weight ✔(foam)
Anti-deformation rate✔ 
Less Salmonella cross infection✔ 

✔means better performance

plastic egg tray transport
paper egg carton recycling

Sales market

▪ Plastic egg carton
For more than half of a century, plastic has performed as the dominating role of material in the package industry by virtue of low price and versatility. However, in the wake of alarming White Pollution and fierce climatic issue, more and more industries and countries have tended to Green Product that meet the requirement of the new era. Here are some news about plastic package:
a)It is predicted by University of Leeds that our planet will have to endure with 1.3 billion tons of plastic by the year of 2040.
b)PepsiCo decided to discard its plastic soda package and replace it with molded pulp rings on March 2020, and set the aim of making all packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.
c)More than 60 countries in the world banned plastic.
As the above statistics shows, it is easy to predict that even if the plastic carton still occupy huge market share now, its future market is unclear and erratic.
▪ Pulp egg carton
The molded pulp packaging market is projected to record a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period, 2021-2026. Increasing awareness of the adverse effects of plastic pollution and the growing demand for environmentally sustainable packaging by end-users are expected to be the main drivers of the pulp egg carton market.
Therefore, as for the idea of starting up a egg carton business, pulp egg carton is a better choice.

plastic egg tray pollution
egg carton enviromental friendly


▪ Plastic egg carton
Plastic egg carton can be reused for 7 times only if they are fully cleaned and sterilized. However, the cost of cleaning and sterilizing often higher than that of purchasing or producing new product and no need to mention the rather complex, time-consuming and chemical-reagent-needed recycling process.In this circumstance, it is no surprise that only 14% of plastic package has been recycled.
▪ Pulp egg carton
Both the raw material and product of pulp egg carton can be recycled or put into another production for 25 times which reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emission as well as the production cost. It can also be torn into small pieces and buried into soil to provide nutrition to plants. In a sense, pulp egg carton has impressively long service life.

plastic egg tray recycling
pulp egg carton recycling
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