The first records of paper being used to carry liquids on a commercial scale are found in reports, dated 1908, of Dr. Winslow of Seattle.
Paraffin wax was used to proof the paper, but achieving a liquid-tight bond at the joints was more difficult, resulting in contamination. Ten years later, proofed paper cartons were becoming commercially available to dairies in the United States.
In 1943, Ruben Rausing developed the tetrahedron beverage package, which required a minimum of material and provided maximum hygiene.
The next big advance came in 1961, with the introduction of aseptically filled sterilised cartons with bacteria-free milk - these cartons were made with an added layer of micro-thin aluminium to improve the protective performance - giving a much longer safe storage time without the need for refrigeration.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, development continued with different shapes, sizes and convenient add-ons such as drinking straws.
At the same time, through the advent of the aseptic carton, there was a rapid increase in the range of liquids packaged in cartons, from milk, cream and juices at the beginning of this period to soups, sauces, waters, wines and many other products by the late '80s.
The combination of being manufactured largely from a renewable resource, a low carbon footprint and suitability to all waste management options, together with its intrinsic convenience and safety, ensure that the beverage carton has a strong future.