What Is Plastic Packaging About?

Plastic packaging is mainly composed of one or more plastic materials, whether of fossil, renewable or recycled origin.

A distinction is made between:

  • Rigid plastic packaging, characterized by a certain shelf life and resistance to deformation. The main component of rigid packaging is generally thicker than 300 microns. Example of rigid packaging: bottles, cans, jars and trays.
  • Flexible packaging, which most often combines different thin materials with complementary properties to package food, pharmaceutical, hygiene and beauty products, maintenance products, etc. and guarantees product preservation and protection. They represent also an effective communication vector (printing…).

They are two types:

  • Complex, i.e. composed of films of several materials, such as plastic, aluminium, paper. Example: a yoghurt pot lid (aluminium film + plastic film).
  • Monomaterial, i.e. composed of several plastic films. Example: a bag for grated cheese.

Processes

Injection is best suited to long production runs (several hundred thousand). Accuracy within one millimetre makes the packaging suitable for all existing automated systems.

It also allows the design of complex forms for large or small customers’ industrial machinery and/or supply chains: from 1Kg units (small trays) to those of much greater weight (pallets and pallet crates).

Thermoforming meets many requirements:

Thermoforming technology limits tooling costs, making it suitable for medium production runs and even complex design for some units. It provides outstanding impact resistance, giving these products a long lifespan (up to 10 years).

Extrusion / converting is a low tooling cost technology that is suitable for short made-to-measure runs (a few hundred) as well as long runs (e.g. hundreds of thousands of spacers). It allows for different materials and multiple shapes adapted to all customer requirements (e.g. complete solutions containing textile liners).

All these processes are suitable for short, medium or long production runs. Each supplier can adapt the technology used to the customer’s specifications.