Plastic Packaging From Indepak: The Materials We Use

At Indepak, we’ve been creating custom plastic packaging for more than 50 years. Our ingenuity, experience and a facility filled with a variety of high-speed thermoforming equipment allows us to the meet the needs of a wide range of clients from many industries, such as:

  • Specialty Foods
  • Personal Care
  • Medical & Pharmaceutical
  • Electronics
  • Industrial
  • Agriculture
  • Retailers (Office supplies, tools, toys, housewares, etc.)

We can design virtually any type of package or tray that you might need, including:

  • Clamshells
  • Blisters (Trap blisters, face seal blisters, etc.)
  • Food Trays (with or without lids)
  • Industrial Trays
  • Business-to-Business Tote Trays
  • Tubs (with or without lids)

Our equipment is capable of processing a variety of thermoform plastic materials, including PET, PETG, HDPE, PP, OPS, HIPS, ABS, PVC and starch-based biomaterials. Here’s a quick look at each option.

PET & PETG Packaging

Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, as it is better known, is one of the most commonly used thermoform plastics. It’s affordable, lightweight, impact-resistant and provides a high level of clarity,

At Indepak, we are experts in the use of PETG, which can be a tricky material to process. PETG is PET that has been glycol-modified. This is a technical description that’s not so important to our clients, but the result is that PETG provides a higher level of heat and impact resistance and feels a bit softer to the touch.

We can help you decide if PET or PETG will be the best fit for your plastic packaging. Either way, PET and PETG are highly recyclable and approved for food contact. In fact, this is the material used for plastic water bottles and many other types of packaging.

HDPE Packaging

High-density polyethylene is another commonly used material for plastic packaging, and is approved for food content. Of course, this lightweight, strong and affordable material also can be used for many other types of packaging.

HDPE can handle low temperatures, which is why it is often used to create packaging for refrigerated foods, such as milk and juice. It also offers a high level of chemical and moisture resistance, as well as good impact resistance. Like other thermoform plastics, it is lightweight, affordable and recyclable. In addition to food packaging, it can be used for personal care products, cleaning products, medical packaging and retail packaging, just to name a few.

PVC Packaging

Polyvinyl chloride can be used to create a variety of types of packaging, and it’s commonly used to create pipes and even clothing. We can use it to create base webs for blister packaging that will be used for over-the-counter medicines and single servicing of items such as chewing gum. PVC is FDA-approved for food contact, but it also can be used to create packaging for other industries.

PVC has high impact-resistance and is highly scratch-resistant, as well. Affordable and lightweight, PVC is moisture-resistant, which is why it can be an excellent choice for packaging as well as products such as flooring (i.e. vinyl flooring).

PP Packaging

Polypropylene is commonly used for food packaging, as it is FDA-approved and can handle temperature extremes. It can be used for refrigerated items such as yogurt containers, but also to create trays that will be frozen and heat, such as microwavable dinners.

PP also can be a great option for other types of packaging as it is highly chemical and water-resistant. It’s also a very durable plastic and highly impact-resistant. In addition to packaging, it’s also sometimes used for items such as car bumpers. At Indepak, we can create trays, tubs with lids and other types of packaging using PP.

OPS Packaging

Oriented polystyrene is yet another material that can be used for food packaging, and we often create trays and tray lids as well as clamshells using OPS. It’s glossy and transparent, which means that it provides an attractive package to show off your deli items, veggie trays, cookie trays and other food items.

HIPS Packaging

High-impact polystyrene can be used for many items, such as point-of-purchase displays, packaging, trays, bottles and much more. As the name suggests, HIPS is highly impact resistant, but it’s also a plastic that’s available in a wide range of colors. Some types of HIPS are FDA-approved for food contact, but some are not, so it’s not always the best solution for our specialty food clients.

Bio-Plastic Packaging

Our starch-based bioplastics provide our clients with alternative to petroleum-based plastic materials. The bioplastic we use is PLA, which is comparable in many ways to PET, especially in regards to clarity and impact strength.

While PLA is created from renewable sources, it does have a few drawbacks. For instance, the low heat tolerance of this plastic means that the packaging could start to deform at about 110 degrees F. If you opt for PLA packaging and you ship, store or use the packaging in a hot climate, you will need to transport the containers in a refrigerated trailer and will need to ensure climate control in any storage facility.

Keep in mind that all of the other materials we use are recyclable and this actually can be a sustainable option. Virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States accept PET, PETG and HDPE. The other materials we use also are accepted by many curbside recycling programs. Using recyclable materials and materials with recycled content can be an excellent option in regards to sustainability.

No matter what type of rigid plastic packaging you need, the team at Indepak is up to the challenge. Of course, not everything we make at Indepak is a package. If you need plastic parts or something else entirely, we may be able to help. Give us a call at any time, and we can discuss or plastic packaging or part needs.