Should You Rent Plastic Moving Boxes or Cardboard Boxes?

rent plastic moving boxes

Moving can be a big decision with many seemingly tiny details. One of the choices you’ll need to make is whether to rent plastic moving boxes or cardboard boxes.

You might not have realized there are different options, but there are, and each has its pros and cons. This guide will help you figure out which choice might be best for you. Read on to take a closer look at both. 

Pros and Cons of Plastic Moving Boxes

When it comes to plastic moving boxes, there are some things you should know before deciding if they’re right for you. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of plastic moving boxes.


First, these boxes are incredibly strong and can withstand a lot of weight without breaking. This means you can pack your heavy items without worrying about them collapsing.

Plastic boxes are also designed to be reused multiple times — unlike cardboard boxes which may tear or become damaged after just one use. This not only saves you money in the long run but also reduces waste, making it an environmentally friendly option. Besides that, plastic totes are easy to stack and carry, thanks to their sturdy construction and built-in handles, making the moving process much more convenient.


While plastic moving bins offer many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One downside is the potential for a higher upfront cost compared to cardboard boxes. Purchasing or renting plastic boxes may require a larger initial investment, although this could be offset by their durability and reusability over time.

Depending on your location, finding places that rent plastic moving boxes may be more challenging compared to the widespread availability of cardboard boxes. Another consideration is the risk of forgetting to return plastic boxes on time, which could result in additional fees. 

Pros and Cons of Cardboard Boxes

Now you know the pros and cons of plastic moving boxes. Here are the advantages and disadvantages you may experience with cardboard boxes.


First off, cardboard boxes are widely available and typically come at a low cost. This makes them a budget-friendly option for almost any scenario.

The variety of sizes and shapes available also ensures that you can find boxes that suit your specific needs, whether you’re packing books or fragile items.

Another benefit of cardboard boxes is their ease of disposal. Once you’ve unpacked your belongings, you can simply flatten the boxes and recycle them, reducing waste and environmental impact.


Despite their affordability and versatility, cardboard boxes also have some drawbacks to keep in mind. One significant downside is their lack of durability, especially for heavier items.

Cardboard boxes can easily tear or collapse under the weight of bulky belongings, which potentially leads to damage during transit. This can be a big headache, especially if you don’t have enough people helping or aren’t using moving services.

Also, cardboard boxes require assembly, which can be time-consuming and tedious. This becomes particularly more difficult if you have a large number of boxes to put together.

Lastly, if cardboard boxes are not properly recycled and end up in landfills, they contribute to environmental pollution and waste. This highlights the importance of responsible disposal practices.

Cost Analysis

When you rent plastic boxes, you’ll pay an upfront fee for each box. But you won’t have to buy new ones every time you move.

On the other hand, buying cardboard boxes might seem cheaper at first, but you’ll need to buy new ones each time you move, which can add up over time. Think about how long you’ll need the boxes and how many you’ll need.

Sometimes, the decision to rent plastic moving boxes might end up being more cost-effective, especially if you’re moving frequently or have a lot of stuff.

Environmental Impact

You might be wondering about the environmental impact of each packing materials option. Let’s break it down.

Plastic boxes are durable and can be reused many times. This means they create less waste compared to cardboard boxes, which are typically used just once or a few times before being thrown away. So, if you’re concerned about reducing waste and being eco-friendly, renting plastic boxes could be a better choice for you.

On the other hand, cardboard boxes are usually made from recycled materials and can be recycled again after use. This means they can be part of a circular economy, where materials are reused and recycled instead of ending up in landfills. So, if you’re diligent about recycling and want to minimize your environmental footprint, cardboard boxes might appeal to you more.

However, it’s important to consider the full lifecycle of each option. Plastic boxes are made from non-renewable resources like petroleum. Their production and disposal can contribute to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. On the flip side, cardboard boxes require trees to be cut down for their production, which can lead to deforestation if not managed sustainably.

Convenience and Practicality

When you’re moving, you want things to be as easy as possible. Plastic totes are sturdy and strong, and you can stack them up without worrying about them collapsing. Plus, they’re easy to handle because they come with handles and are often uniform in size.

You can get them in all different sizes, which can be handy for packing various items. But they’re not as tough as plastic boxes, which isn’t ideal for every scenario. So if it’s raining on moving day, they might get soggy and fall apart.

Should You Rent Plastic Moving Boxes or Cardboard Boxes for Your Relocation?

As you wrap up your decision-making process about whether to rent plastic moving boxes or stick with cardboard ones, remember to keep your own needs and preferences in mind. Evaluate what matters most to you: cost, convenience, or sustainability.

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Weigh them carefully based on your preferences and circumstances. 

Are you preparing for an upcoming move? Man With a Van Dublin has over 10 years of experience delivering friendly, trustworthy and reliable moving services at very competitive rates. Get a free quote for your relocation today.

Written by Shop

March 22, 2024

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