• what is packaging material

Different countries worldwide have different understandings of the meaning of packaging, and their expressions are also different, but the basic meaning is the same.

The American Packaging Association believes that packaging is the act of preparing a product for shipment and sale.

According to the Canadian Packaging Association: packaging is a tool to transport a product from a supplier to a customer or consumer, keeping the product in good condition.

The British Packaging Association believes packaging is the art, science, and technical preparation for transporting and selling goods.

The basic meanings of the above statements all indicate that the primary function of packaging lies in every stage of the whole process, from the production of the product to the hands of consumers.

No matter what external influences are encountered, packing can protect the goods without reducing the quality of the goods.

  • The basic function of packaging

Product packing includes the following three basic functions.

  1. Protection function
  2. Convenience function
  3. Promotional function

1.Protection function

According to the product’s shape, characteristics, transportation environment, sales environment and other factors, use appropriate packaging materials and design a reasonable packaging structure to protect the product.

In the packaging design, the physical force generated by the packaging equipment on the packaging material and the damage caused to the product due to bumps, drops, etc., must be considered.

The protection functions of packaging also include anti-corrosion, moisture-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, impact-proof, pollution-proof, volatilization-proof, bacteria-proof, light-proof, oxidation-proof, heat-proof, freezing-proof, etc.

2.Convenience function

Convenience to produce:

For mass-produced products, the first consideration must be the market, but the designer should also consider the factory’s production capacity and production cost.

For example, a carton is beautifully designed, but if packaging cannot mass-produce it in an assembly line, it will also bring trouble to the enterprise.

Convenience in storing and transport:

The quality and volume of each package should be suitable for the storage and transportation of the goods (including truck boxes, container dimensions, etc.),

as well as the requirements for stacking and handling in international trade.

Convenience to recycle:

Waste packaging has posed a serious threat to environmental protection,

so enterprises should consider the disposal of waste packaging in packaging design and use recyclable or degradable packaging materials as much as possible.

3.Promotional function

The primary purpose of a company’s products is to sell them to customers.

Well-designed packaging can arouse customers’ desire and generate impulse buying behaviour.

In supermarkets, the charm of packaging has become the most crucial factor in attracting customers.

Moreover, after the product is taken away, the exquisite packaging can become a “walking advertisement” to attract more potential customers!

  • The 3 Levels of Packaging

Packaging can be divided into inner packaging and outer packaging.

If differentiated by level, it can be divided into 3 levels. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary.

1.Primary Packaging(inner packaging)

The materials used for the inner packaging are in direct contact with the product.

Primary packaging is the last bit of packaging between the product and the end-user.

Its primary goals are protecting the product and informing or attracting customers.

Materials for Primary packaging are usually flexible, such as plastic film, paper, foil, cloth, and composite materials.

The following are several standard inner packaging methods and packaging materials.

(1) paper packaging materials

Paper is low in cost, suitable for mass mechanized production, has good formability and folding properties, suitable for printing, and has the advantages of recyclability, economic and environmental protection, etc.

Kraft Paper
Kraft paper

Kraft paper is tough and inexpensive, with high tear strength and can be used to package foods.

Coated Paper
Coated Paper Box

Coated Paper is mainly made of high-grade raw materials such as wood and cotton fibers.

The Coated Paper‘s surface can paint with a light treatment to increase gloss.

Suitable for color printing, the printing effect is colorful and has a strong visual impact.

The disadvantage is that the silty is easy to stick and fall off after being wet, which makes the coated paper unable to be stored for a long time.

Corrugated Paper
corrugated cup

Corrugated Cup

corrugated box

Corrugated Box

Corrugated paper has the advantages of lightness and sturdiness, large load capacity, strong pressure resistance, shock resistance, moisture resistance, etc., and low cost.

(2) Plastic Packaging Materials

Plastic has good water resistance, moisture resistance, oil resistance, insulation, lightweight, easy production, can be shaped into various shapes, and can be printed.

With abundant sources of raw materials, low cost, and excellent performance, plastics have become the fastest-growing packaging materials in the world in the past 50 years.

It is one of the most important packaging materials in modern sales packaging.

plastic bag

Plastic Bag

Glasses Case

food box

Food Box

Common plastic raw materials mainly include polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), etc.

POF shrink film

KEEPTOP Packaging provides various types of heat shrink plastic wrap. Among them, POF shrink film is FDA-approved and is a highly recyclable product.

It is a flexible and robust material that can handle demanding goods such as grinding wheel and other items with rough edges.

This type of heat shrink film has ultra-high clarity, which can make the packaged products look shiny and bring visual impact to customers, so POF shrink film has excellent shelf appeal.

At the same time, POF shrink film can also be printed. Enterprises can print brand names, logos, and exquisite patterns on the shrink film to promote their brands.

(3) Metal Packaging Materials

Metal is widely used in food packaging, pharmaceutical packaging, daily necessities packaging, instrumentation packaging, industrial product packaging, arms packaging, etc.

The most used for food packaging.

The characteristics of metal are hard, high barrier, beautiful appearance, special metallic luster, easy to print and decorate, and waste packaging can be reused.

Steel Packaging

Compared with other metal packaging materials, steel is cheap, has low energy consumption, and has good plasticity and flexibility.

Its consumption occupies the first place in metal packaging materials.

Metal Packaging
Steel Packing
Aluminum Packaging

Aluminum materials mainly include pure aluminum plate, alloy aluminum plate, aluminum foil, and aluminized film.

Aluminum is light in weight, not easy to rust, has good corrosion resistance, has beautiful and durable brightness, is easy to print, and waste aluminum can be recycled.

Aluminum is often used to make cans.

Aquatic products are packaged with aluminum materials, and the phenomenon of metal sulfide blackening will not occur due to the decomposition of sulfides in proteins.

aluminum can
Aluminum foil

(4) Glass Packaging Materials

Glass has high clarity, impermeability and corrosion resistance characteristics, non-toxic and tasteless, stable chemical properties, low production cost, etc.

You can make glass materials into transparent and translucent containers of various shapes and colors.

Glass packaging is mainly used for packaging liquids, solid medicines, and liquid beverages.

soda bottle

Soda Bottles

Wine Bottle

(5) Ceramic Packaging Materials

Ceramics have good chemical stability, and thermal stability can resist the erosion of various chemicals.

High-temperature resistance and rapid changes in cold and heat will not affect the ceramics.

It is an ideal packaging container for food and chemicals.

ceramic wine bottle

Ceramic Wine Bottle

Ceramic Bottle

2.Secondary Packaging(outer packaging)

Secondary packaging wraps around Primary Packaging and is the type of packaging used to transport, protect, and hold individual product units together.

Secondary packaging is also often used as display packaging to promote the brand.

The picture below is a typical case of secondary packaging. The printed Polyolefin Shrink Film wraps five bottles of yoghurt together.

Integrated packaging (multiple packages) is achieved.

At the same time, it also plays a role in marketing and promotes the brand. It also protects the yoghurt bottle from scratches.

Printed POF Shrink Film

Secondary packaging materials often used are wood, corrugate (cardboard), foam, and plastics.

KEEPTOP Packaging offers many types of shrink film, all of which can be used for secondary packaging.

Polyolefin Shrink Film

The characteristics of polyolefin shrink film we talked about earlier.

This type of heat shrink film is puncture resistant and has a strong seal strength, durable, long-lasting, and low-temperature resistance.

Polyolefin shrink film has good cold resistance and can maintain flexibility at -50°C without embrittlement.

It will not change colour or become brittle over time. It can effectively protect the packaged items.

Polyolefin shrink film is an economical product.

You may encounter some problems during the actual wrapping process, check out the TOP 10 Heat Shrink Wrap Problems And Solutions summarized by experts to find the right way to deal with it.

Polyethylene Film

Polyethylene film is highly strong and often used for heavier product packaging.

Especially in bottled drinking water.

Sometimes it is needed to hold several bottles, jars, cans or packs together most simply and cost-effectively possible.

Although it is not the best visual presentation, a shrink wrap multi-pack for drinks bottles or cans can be the answer. Polyethylene film can be printed or not, depending on the requirements and budget.

Printed polyethylene film can help you advertise your logo, company name, or brand.

3.Tertiary Packaging(Outermost Layer)

Tertiary Packaging is the packaging used most often by warehouses and manufacturers to ship secondary packaging.

The primary goal of tertiary packaging is to protect shipments during transit.

Tertiary packaging is typically not seen by end users.

The packaging materials often used by Tertiary Packaging are pallets, wood crates, banding groove lumber, strapping, packing tape, stretch wrap, etc.

Shipping and packing photos

Here at KEEPTOP, the primary component of our tertiary packaging is plastic strapping, packing tape, and stretch wrap.

PE Stretch Film

PE stretch film is one of the most common tools for unitizing products for transport.

PE stretch film is used to secure, bundle, and stabilize products.

The PE stretch film wrapped around the product’s surface can prevent dust, oil, moisture, water, and theft.

Stretch wrap film offers high puncture resistance and excellent load-holding force to prevent heavier items from shifting during transport.

PE stretch film also provides superior cling and loads stabilization to secure uniform and irregular loads, which is impossible with traditional packaging methods.

Plastic Strapping

Plastic strapping is used to bundle products together, reinforce cartons and help you to secure the package.

It protects products from movement either in storage or during shipment.

Many people use a combination of stretch film and plastic strapping to help secure loads of different sizes and weights.

Polypropylene strapping is often used to complement stretch film during load stabilization.

Polyester strapping is great for heavier loads and is commonly used in place of metal strapping.

Printed plastic strapping offers the added value of advertising your company and securing your packages while in transit.

Polypropylene Strapping

Polyester Strapping

Packing Tape

Packing Tape – Considered a pressure-sensitive tape used in various applications, commonly used for sealing boxes and packages for shipments.

Packing tape provides excellent holding power for heavy-duty packaging and shipping.

Seal shipping and storage boxes with packing tape to hold them closed through rough handling or long-term storage.

The advantages of packaging tape are thin thickness, good cost performance, transparent appearance, non-toxic, odorless, good safety, puncture resistance, easy to use, high cushioning strength, high efficiency,  good shrinkage,  and good tear resistance.

What materials should be used when designing packaging for a product?

It should consider not only the performance of the commodity but also the performance of the packaging material; it is necessary to protect the commodity, facilitate transportation and carry; promote the commodity, and reduce costs.

You can learn from the mature packaging in the market and then adjust and design the use plan according to your needs.

KEEP Packaging is a professional packaging material manufacturer and supplier. Provide packaging material wholesale and customized services. Our factory is in Zhengzhou, China.

We are dedicated to providing superior products and services at an affordable price.

We have supplied packaging materials and packing machines for over 14 years to thousands of companies.

We will use professional knowledge for each concrete project scheme design to help you and carefully listen to your demands and respect your opinions.

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