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It is no deniable notion that plastics have revolutionized the world of today. From their use in industry to that in the household equipment, plastic has found its way everywhere. Today, the majority of industrial and food products are packed with plastic packaging materials.
What Are Plastic Packing Materials?
Plastic packing material can be any kind of plastic used to wrap, pack, or contain a product to facilitate its transportation, sale, or handling. Also, it can be used to preserve and protect products like food, medicine, raw materials, etc. Plastic packing materials are used for many other purposes. Let’s take a look at them.
Types of Plastic Packaging Material--their Uses and Advantages
As per the specific requisites, a huge array of plastic materials exist, which found their use in several areas. For packaging purposes, the polymers used can be broadly classified into 6 classes. Every class have their uses and advantages in given requirements.
Polyethene terephthalate (PET or PETE)
Contributing 18% in the world’s plastic products, PET or PETE has extensive uses as a plastic packaging material. Its thermosetting and moisture-barring ability makes it suitable for use in packaging.
- PET plastic is utilised in a massive way to manufacture different oil and grease pouches.
- Due to its higher mechanical strength, it is used in manufacturing of different tapes such as the BOPP Tapes.
- Similarly, the material is also used to manufacture BOPP Tape Jumbo Roll.
- It is stiff and has a higher strength than other plastics, which increase its endurance.
- Its light-weightiness makes it easy to handle and transport.
- It is shatter-resistant, electrical insulant and has a broad temperature range.
High-density Polyethylene (HDPE or PEHD)
With the global production of 30 million tons a year, HDPE fabrics, packagings, containers, plastic etc. are used worldwide from households to mega-industries. HDPE acts as a strong and impact-resistant plastic packaging material.
- Plastic mailing envelopes are usually synthesized from HDPE plastic.
- As a substitute for transparent LDPE bags, inflated-film HDPE bags with holders are incorporated.
- Non-transparent containers are formed from HDPE material for oils and ointments.
- Jerrycans for petroleum and aromatic products are made from HDPE material as it resists softening and swelling.
- It has stiff material and is impact-resistant, which increase its durability.
- It is non-reactive to most chemicals and solvents, which makes it well-suited for chemical packaging.
- It is non-leaching and leak-free, hence, best for liquid packing.
Polystyrene is used in the industry in both solid and foam forms. It has a large number of applications in the packaging industry. In foam form, it is largely used as a protective plastic packaging material.
- Foam polystyrene has vast application in manufacturing of various products such as double side cloth tapes.
- It can be also used in manufacturing of Speciality Plastic Films.
- It is moldable to any desired shape.
- It is both in coloured and transparent form.
- It is an excellent eclectic insulator and is easy to work with.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
World’s fourth most produced and used plastic PVC, which has a popular reputation in piping, also has several uses as a plastic packaging material. It has two basic forms: rigid and flexible.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is majorly used in manufacturing of Shrink Films due to its various properties.
- It can be welded and shaped in any desirable form.
- It is resistant to weathering and abrasion, which makes it apt for long-term packaging.
- PVC plastics are self-extinguishing i.e. if the fire is stopped they will cool down spontaneously.
The revenues from PP production are expected to grow by 5.8%. PP has a growing use in industry and is also extensively used for packaging.
- Coloured and transparent box straps are synthesized using PP material.
- PP is used in packaging for products to be shipped at long-distances.
- Light-walled PP products are used in food packaging.
- High impact toughness, fatigue resistance, and bend strength enable it to endure physical damages.
- It is quite resistant to moisture.
- It is non-reactive towards the majority of acids and bases.
Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE is the less dense form of polyethylene. It is used as packaging material as well as protection foam.
- Containers and trays used in food and consumer goods packaging are made from LDPE.
- As an alternative to polystyrene, LDPE packaging foam is used for product safety.
- Thermoplastic wrapping films are made from LDPE.
- LDPE is also used in manufacturing milk films.
- LDPE’s low stiffness and high flexibility prove best for the protection of goods.
- It is also resistant to most of the reactive chemicals.
How to Choose the best?
To choose a product that is optimized in terms of your economic and qualitative needs, you need to know what to look for. Factors like the amount of time the packaging has to be on, the composition, weight, size, state, and shape of the packaged product give you an idea of what plastic packaging material will be the best for you.