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Cardboard Sleeve and Banding: the Differences, Pros and Cons

We have encountered several enquires where clients ask for automation solutions for banding packaging, after bumping into ELITER Packaging Machinery’s wrap-around solutions. The fact is that such packaging is not something our cartoner or sleever can serve.

In this article, we want to help you guys understand that cardboard sleeve packaging and paper banding are actually different forms of packaging and they apply different packaging machines.

  • Topics: Cardboard sleeving, Paper banding, Differences between banding and sleeving
  • Question to Answer: What are the differences between banding and cardboard sleeve packaging?

What Makes Banding and Sleeving Similar?

All packaging has its purpose. Let it be protection, promotion, information display, or what.

In the case of banding and cardboard sleeving, both of them apply a piece of cardboard sleeve or a piece of paper to wrap around the container or article, and in such a way, the packaging is used as an extra space and surface for advertisement and information display.

banding example
An example of banding, cited from a client’s inquiry

The misunderstanding here comes from the fact that:

  • They are both of wrap-around feature
  • They are similar in appearance and both serve as extra space for advertisement

Let’s look into each one and find out the details.

What is Banding?

With banding, the packaging applies banderoles made from paper, or plastic film to wrap around an article. Banding is flexible in wrapping products thus articles in different shapes or with different characteristics can be wrapped by banderoles with the most ease and without any difficulty. Just because, banderoles are soft, thin and flexible.

Banding is widely used in various industries,

for example:

In the food industries

sushi bandingWhere those freshly prepared ready-to-eat meals sold on some shelves of Carrefour you visit each day, such as sushi, vegetable salad, fresh salmon, etc. Are usually placed on a tray, covered by a lid and then secured by banding.

Yet, in most cases, such packaging is done manually by the cashier or the teller or chief.


Banding in the case of pharma

Plastic banding is sometimes used in the pharmaceuticals sector in the case of bundling multiple carton boxes. Banding is considered to be a packaging-material-saving alternative to shrink wrapping or overwrapping when it comes to bundling multiple packages, given the fact that less banding involves fewer plastics to be used.

What is Cardboard Sleeving?

By various times we have talked about what is cardboard sleeve packaging or carton sleeving. To give a basic review, cardboard sleeving is such a packaging where a container or article is wrapped and slid around by sleeve. Depending on the form of sleeve used, cardboard sleeving can be defined into two forms:

  • Sleeve packaging made with pre-glued sleeve by end loading
  • Sleeve packaging made with flat sleeve blanks by wrap-around methods

You can also visit our past blog to learn the difference between pre-glued sleeve and wrap around sleeve packaging.

Cardboard sleeve packaging has been a tremendously popular secondary packaging in the food, dairy, drinks and beverages industries. Now that it is with features like carton boxes to protect the containment, as well as the benefits of contributing to sustainability by reducing the use of packaging materials and the use of plastics.

Carton Wrap-Around Sleeving Process

What Makes Cardobard Sleeving and Banding Different?

There are several factors to consider so as to tell the differences between banding and cardboard sleeve packaging, including closure, tension, material, automation handling, flexibility, etc.


ATS-Tanner Banding Systems AG, a German packaging machinery company specializing in banding, once mentioned in their article that cardboard sleeves can fail to deliver tight packaging, the original comments are as below:


“Carton sleeves are placed around the product without tension. The hold is correspondingly loose. This can cause products to slip out of the cardboard sleeve. Additional tabs and notches can prevent this, but they can also make it difficult to attach the cardboard sleeve around the product.” [1]

– ATS Unique Banding



The truth is that both banding and cardboard sleeve packaging can be tight enough to protect the wrapped products. Though the latter must be the wrapped-around sleeve rather than the pre-glued sleeve.  

Unless the packaging is abusively handled, the sleeve done by the wrap-around pattern is secure enough to avoid any chance of slipping out.

sleeve packaging tightness



Sleeve packaging is basically made with cardboard, paperboard, recycled paper materials, etc. Apart from these previously mentioned, companies in the packaging industry have also their own invented materials to make sleeve packaging. For example, CarrierKote paperboard, a patented material by Westrock, an American-based global packaging company, consumes almost 50% fewer materials than traditional sleeve wraparound packaging.

Banding, on the other hand, is more flexible in the choices of materials. Rather than being limited to paper or what, it is also fine to use films such as Polypropylene and Polylactic acid. Rather than sleeve packaging that applies solid materials, banding is softer sometimes.



Sleeve packaging outstrips banding when it comes to protection.

This is given by the nature that

  • cardboard sleeves are used for both providing solid protection as an alternative to traditional carton boxes as well as to offer surfaces for information,
  • while banding is simply a packaging focused on simplicity, saving of materials and for advertisement.



Banding is more flexible than cardboard sleeves when it comes to unregular articles.

Cardboard sleeve packaging is basically used to wrap solid and hard articles, and containers. For example, trays of ready meals, bottles and tins of beverages, yogurt cups.

However, banding is also available for soft articles such as towels, fruits, and more irregularly shaped articles. See the first picture in this article where a towel is banded.


Automation Handling

Packaging machine for cardboard sleeving is usually more complex than banding machines.

Cardboard sleeve wrapping follows a very complex series of procedures including placing the sleeves on the articles, wrapping and sliding, applying adhesive, and closure.

Banding, however, is far simpler than cardboard sleeving.


Learn more about our Sleeve Packaging Machines

We suppose till this stage you may have acquired a basic understanding of why cardboard sleeving and banding are different packaging.

At ELITER Packaging Machinery, we offer a full range of packaging machines for cardboard sleeve packaging: cartoner, wrap-around sleeve cartoner and wrap-around sleever.

For more information, please contaact us by sending your inquiry to:



About the Authors

Zixin Yuan
Digital Marketing Coordinator
* Graduate of Ningbo University

Zixin Yuan gots her Graduate's Degree in International Business from Ningbo University. She is CEFR C2 certified in English with CPE by Cambridge University and responsible for digital marketing at ÉLITER Packaging Machienry.
Zixin Yuan - LinkedIn

Zhiwei Bao
Company Owner
* Msc.
* University of Granada
* University of Vigo
* Interdisciplinary expertise in packaging, SME management, international business
* Past experience at Hapag-Lloyd, ZIM and Kuehne+Nagel

Company owner at ÉLITER Packaging Machinery, a mark of Huaneng Machinery. He is the third generation of the family business. He got the Msc. degree from the University of Granada and University of Vigo. He worked at several world´s leading companies in international shipping including HLAG, ZIM and K+N before taking over the family business in packaging automation.                           
Zhiwei Bao - LinkedIn

About the Company
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd
No.1088, Jing Ye Rd, Economic Development Zone, Dong Shan District, Ruian Wenzhou Zhejiang, China 325200
+86 (0577) 6668 2128
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery