The main purpose of packaging is to keep products in good condition before sales, make it look attractive an
d to keep it protected. Packaging is also of prime importance during transportation to prevent any kind of damage or destruction due to sudden movement or jerks during travel. Use of correct packaging materials are important for increases the shelf life of products, to satisfy customers, to prevent wastage due to deterioration or leakage which often takes place during distribution and transportation. If products are well packaged it encourages customers to buy products.
Here are some common materials for packaging.
Glass –Easily available as a packaging material, glass is made from calcium carbonate, sodium carbonate and silica. Other compounds are often added to glass to give it a bright color, make it heat resistant and to improve its overall performance. Glass is one of the most common packaging materials since it is inert, easily sterilisable, is pressure resistant to a certain extent, its transparent nature helps to make the product visible, can be easily molded into many shapes and can be recycled too easily. However, glass has a drawback of being extremely fragile and due to its transparency it is easily degraded by light.
Metals – Metals are a highly popular as a packaging material and used primarily for packaging drinks, food and similar products. Some common packaging metallic packaging materials are in the form of drums, aerosol cans and drink cans. Drum boxes, tin plated steel and aluminium are also common materials for packaging. Drum boxes are used for packing biscuits and confectionary and the best part is all are recyclable. Aluminium is often used as packaging material for packing tubes, tubs, closures, cans and trays. Metals are popular packaging materials since
they are pressure resistant, strong and quite rigid, sterizable, corrosion resistant, barrier to moisture and gas and can be directed decorated and labelled. Metals as materials for packaging have a drawback for their limited achievable shapes and weight, especially when these are compared to plastics as packaging materials.
Plastics –Plastics make highly useful packaging materials as they can be used in combination and as single material. Plastic are popular as they are extremely light weight, can be easily moulded as per the shape needed and can be used in producing rigid containers or as flexible films. These are highly durable, resistant from any kind of impact, are heat sealable and can be easily decorated and labelled. Plastics have the disadvantage of being able to melt at varied temperature.
Pressed Paperboard– another common packaging material used in a number of applications such as film sealed meals. It is best suited for high speed packaging for a number of productions. It is quite commonly used in malls and super markets for packaging meals and takeouts. Paperboard has great graphic capability and is extremely good for branding. It can be used in a number of patterns and colors. It offers great strength and high durability. It is not much expensive as packaging material.
Aluminium – Another common material for packaging, aluminium is widely used to package bulk items which include container packaging, for baking and bakery products, for packaging frozen entrees and party platters. Aluminium can be coated in a number of colors, it can easily retain the cold and heat and is extremely crack resistant. This is leak resistant and offers great lidding options which include laminated board, clear domes and aluminium hood. The best part is aluminium is one of those packaging materials which are inexpensive and easily available.
Foamed Polystyrene– This is specially used for packing hinged lid containers and in tableware. This is usually yellow, blue, vanilla, black, white and green in color and looks bright and fresh. This material offers complete cold insulation, is quite lightweight, is completely leak proof and has great heat retention capacity. This packing material is microwavable and can easily hold hot foods for long duration without causing harm to the food. This is quite an economical packaging material and used in many industries.
Molded Fiber– One of the most important materials for packaging, molded fiber is usually white or gray in color, which is a lot dependent on the newspaper content. It displays great cut resistance and has immense strength as a packaging material and promises great service whenever used. It is mainly used in packing food, since it absorbs grease and oil, extremely well from all fried foods. It repels oil as well as water and prevents soak through completely. This is used for fruit trays, as beverage carriers, as plates and French fry boats. Molded fiber can be microwaved but it is not good for ovens and can cause fires.
There are several kinds of materials for packaging available – you need to choose a material based on the purpose of use.