Packaging materials

From CEOpedia | Management online
Packaging materials
See also

The materials used for the production of packaging play a very important role. It is up to them to decide whether the packaging will protect the goods well and will be resistant to various types of external factors. Increasingly, manufacturers pay attention to the environmental impact of the material and are looking for a suitable material that will also be environmentally friendly as well as durable and resistant.

Types of packaging material

Metal packaging

We divide metal packaging due to the material:

  • Light metals, e.g. aluminum
  • Stainless steel, e.g. cans, containers, cisterns

The advantages of metal packaging:

  • easy to process
  • they can often be used as reusable packaging
  • very resistant to mechanical factors
  • adequate hardness to facilitate transport
  • ease of visualization on the packaging
  • quite light
  • easy waste in processing

Disadvantages of metal packaging:

  • strong thermal conductivity
  • possibility of penetration of harmful substances
  • susceptibility to corrosion
  • distribution possible only in mechanical conditions, not natural

Wooden packaging:

  • Wooden packaging due to the increasing deficit of this material, the production of wooden packaging is slowly being phased out
  • The most common type of transport packaging, including among others crates, baskets.
  • Individual wooden packaging, e.g. barrels as auxiliary material - wood wool.

The advantages of wooden packaging:

  • lack of thermal and electrical conduction
  • resistance to mechanical factors
  • poor air conductivity
  • poor activity

Disadvantages of wooden packaging:

  • they are hydroscopes - they absorb moisture
  • flammability
  • sometimes they smell a resin

Paper packaging:

Paper packaging is often used in commodities for both soft and rigid packaging. Paper packaging is also used directly when packaging products. We distinguish two types of paper packaging:

  • Soft packaging - includes wrapping paper refined or coated with plastics or metal.
  • Rigid packaging - belong to this kind of cartons, multilayer plywood and cardboard.

The advantages of paper packaging:

  • lightness
  • odorlessness
  • it does not conduct heat
  • ease of processing
  • the possibility of processing and printing
  • good mechanical properties
  • cheap in production compared to other raw materials
  • the possibility of recycling from recycled paper
  • they combine with other materials

Disadvantages of paper packaging&:

  • poor strength
  • easily flammable
  • they may undergo undesirable decomposition under natural conditions
  • low chemical resistance

Glass packaging:

Glass packaging is most often used in the packaging of food items such as jars, bottles, ampoules. We distinguish packaging from colorless or colored glass.

  • Dark glass is chosen more often for food packaging, because it does not transmit ultraviolet rays, which in turn cause the loss of valuable vitamins.
  • Clear glass is cheaper, chosen in situations where we want to show the contents of the package.

The advantages of glass packaging:

  • smooth surface
  • they do not smell
  • multiple use
  • resistant to chemical injuries
  • hygiene
  • non-absorbability
  • surface resistant to various types of scratches
  • flexible during machining

Disadvantages of glass packaging:

  • susceptible to breakage
  • they do not decompose under natural conditions
  • heavy in relation to the contents of the packaging

Plastic packaging:

  • This type of packaging includes, among others: polyethylene, polystyrene and other refiners.
  • They can be made of packaging in various forms, e.g. bags, canisters, bags, foil sheets.
  • Not only traditional packaging is made of plastic, but also packaging for other packaging such as stoppers, caps and caps.

The advantages of plastic packaging:

  • mechanical resistance
  • lightness
  • chemical resistance
  • cheap
  • impermeable odors and gases
  • resistant to temperatures
  • ease in dyeing and lamination at the initial stage of production
  • low weight
  • resistant to insects

Disadvantages of plastic packaging:

  • they do not decompose under natural conditions
  • the ability to transfer chemical substances to the product
  • they are non-ecological

Packaging from fabrics:

  • Usually they are bags made of natural fabrics such as linen, jute, viscose or hemp.
  • Such packages are usually used to store loose products that need access to air.

The advantages of packaging from fabrics:

  • low weight
  • environment friendly
  • the best solution for loose products
  • multiple use

Disadvantages of packaging from fabrics:

  • susceptible to dirt
  • they can undergo mechanical injuries
  • not resistant to external factors

Packaging made of plastics

There are many types of plastics in the industry but only some of them are used for the production of packaging. PE-LD (low density polyethylene) has the largest share in packaging production, while the smallest PS-E (foamed polystyrene). Of course, other plastics are used, but these are trace amounts. Here are the most important of them:

  1. Polyethylene (PE) - gives birth (division by density):
  • PE-HD - high density polyethylene - containers for milk packaging, containers and barrels for chemical packaging, thin packaging for dairy products, buckets, bottles for liquid cosmetics, deodorants, medicines, tubing films, flat films.
  • PE-LD - low density polyethylene - heat shrink films, stretch films, containers for food storage, food packaging bags.
  • PE-LLD - low-density linear polyethylene - food pouches, bags for sea transport, adhesive stretch film.
  1. PP - polypropylene - packaging for medical items, clothing, bread, moisture protection packaging, grease-resistant film.
  2. PET - poly (ethylene terephthalate) - containers for food products, bottles for carbonated beverages, water, beer, heat-resistant trays, containers for microwave and freezing, bags for sterilized medical items, pouches for cooking food in hot water.
  3. PS - polystyrene - types:
  • Crystalline PS (general polystyrene) - CD cassettes, pill and tablet bottles, thin-walled cups,
  • High impact PS (PS-HI) - thermoformed containers for packaging dairy products
  • PS foamed PS (E) - for insulating cups, egg boxes, meat trays, food jaw containers, protective packaging for electrotechnical article.
  1. PVC - poly (vinyl chloride) - containers for dairy products, bottles and tubes for shampoos and other cosmetics, packaging film, e.g. butter, poultry, etc., bags for blood and other intravenous solutions, blister for packaging medical and pharmaceutical products.
  2. PC – polycarbonate - packaging for sterilization, reusable bottles, foil for confectionery and bakery products.
  3. EVOH (EVAL) - ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer - used as a protective layer for oxygen in flexible and rigid multilayer packaging.


Author: Natalia Wróblewska