Objection 1: Practically speaking, a product will typically be placed in a packaging easier to produce
and therefore cheaper. This is apparent for things like computers and the like, but even extends to things
like toilet paper. If the goal of a box is to contain it’s product in the cheapest way possible, while still
keeping safe said product, then cardboard is the best material, given it’s durability to price ratio.
Objection 2: It seems that, given stewardship of the earth we are to pick the best materials for the
things that are used the most. Namely, we should use our wood and tape and other materials for the things
that are most proper to those materials. For wood, furniture, For tape, fixing broken things, and so on.
Since cardboard doesn’t seem to have another apparent use than boxes, so all boxes should be cardboard.
On the contrary: Eric Trommer says, “there are some products that require more durable packaging
than cardboard.” Mr. Trommer might say that a box made of a different material would benefit in being
more useful as a box.
I answer that there are three things that compose a good box. Firstly, it holds it’s shape. Rigidity is
clearly a necessary trait, in that, if a thing held no shape, it may not be the thing it is anymore. Particularly
in the case of boxes, it seems to hold true that if it does not hold a hollow, rectangular prismatic shape, it
is no longer a box.
Secondly, a box must have six sides, or five sides and a lid. It seems the lid must hold it’s shape and be
functional, otherwise, it is a shape that is not six-sided and thereby no longer a box. A five-sided three-dimensional object in a prismatic shape would be called a crate and not a box.
Thirdly, a box must have the capacity to hold. If a box is too small to hold anything, then it is just an
object with no inside, since there must be something, however small, that any given box can hold.
Reply to objection 1: if a box is made of another thing, say wood, it is more durable. If it is more
durable, it can be used for multiple products rather than being exhausted after one use. As such, it can be
used for so long so as to eventually be cheaper than cardboard.
Reply to objection 2: The stewardship given us seems to have less bearing on the materials we use,
and more bearing on that we use it. For example, we can make a chair out of cardboard, and it is in line
with stewardship if we use said chair as much as is proper to the materials being used for the object. It
makes sense then, that if a box is made of a different material, it is still in agreement with stewardship if
said box is used as much as it can be. So it is not necessary for all boxes to be cardboard.