Plastic End Plugs…Hidden in Plain Sight

The ongoing joke for many in the paper tube industry, is that the average American uses 8 paper tubes a day…all without realizing it.

Because who really pays attention to how the Pringles can is made? Or that the salt and paper shaker at the dinner table is like a mini Pringles can with a shaker top. Or that mascara is packaged in a cute paper canister.

The same applies to plastic end plugs.

For those who have ever ordered a poster of your favorite band or classic movie, it probably arrived in a spiral paper tube, with white plastic end plugs at each end. But you, like most, probably removed the end plug, carefully removed the prized poster, and simply tossed the poster tube and end plugs without ever giving the packaging a second thought.

Poster tubes and plastic end plugs are the #1 method to ship poster tubes, but since the average person doesn’t really knows that, we’ll just continue to be grateful to play a small role in getting a beloved poster to an appreciative fan.

You Won’t Find Custom Poster Tubes at Your Local Office Supply Shop – Part 1

Color: Kraft aka Brown

End Closure: White plastic plug


Local office supply stores stock some of the common poster tubes – 2″ inside diameter x 24″ usable length, 2″ inside diameter x 36″ usable length, 2″ inside diameter x 48″ usable length and 3″ inside diameter x 24″ usable length, 3″ inside diameter x 36″ usable length, 3″ inside diameter x 48″ usable length.

For some, these sizes are sufficient. But many are left wondering where they can find a custom poster tube with something besides kraft brown or matte white outside wrap.

If you’re finding yourself in the latter group, this blog is for you. Here are a few pictures of some customer poster tubes we make. You’ll notice that most of these poster tubes have white plastic end plugs – white plastic plugs are the cheapest, lightest, most common way to secure the ends of a poster tube. These plastic plugs are available from 1 inch to 12 inches.

Custom Pantone color end plugs are available in quantities of 50,000 – 100,000.


Color: Matte Black aka Flat Black

End Closure: White plastic plug

Color: Glossy Red

End Closure: White plastic plug

Color: Glossy Yellow

End Closure: White plastic plug


Color: Glossy Black

End Closure: White plastic plug


Color: Kraft aka Brown

End Closure: Crimped Ends aka Snap Seal


Crimped poster tubes or “snap sealed” poster tubes are an alternative to “open end” poster tubes with plastic end plugs. Because glossy paper is much thinner than kraft brown paper, it tends to tear or rip when crimped, so crimped posters tubes are usually ordinary kraft brown, though sometimes matte white or matte black.

Crimped poster tubes don’t require plastic end plugs, but they do require a little more labor. Open end poster tubes are manufactured and ready to go. Crimped end poster tubes are manufactured, then sent to get crimped. Because of the additional step, the lead time or turnaround time for this type of poster tube is a little longer.

A great way to brand crimped end poster tubes and increase product visibility is to add a one color print (like a rubber stamp). To see examples of custom printed poster tubes and crimped end poster tubes, stay tuned for Part 2 of You Won’t Find Custom Poster Tubes at Your Local Office Supply Shop. 


How to ship posters?


Let’s assume you’re just starting your poster company and that you are the one who will be purchasing the supplies, packing everything, and shipping the posters yourself. And keep in mind that “poster tubes” is just another name for “mailing tubes”, “shipping tubes”, “cardboard tubes”, and “paper tubes.” Referring to a “paper tube” as a “poster tube” is just a more specific way of referring to it.

Read more…

Mailing Tubes – Poster Tubes – Shipping Tubes


Besides the famous toilet paper roll, mailing tubes, poster tubes, and shipping tubes are a close second.

For everybody needing to “think outside the box”, these round solutions can be seen passing through every UPS, FedEx, and USPS, terminal throughout the world every single day. Structurally superior to triangular, corrugated “shipping tubes”, spiral paper tubes, maintain their integrity from Point A to Point B, keeping the product(s) inside safe and secure.

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