Sustainable Packaging Options From Indepak

As the world moves ever toward a more eco-conscious mentality, most of our clients focus on finding the most sustainable packaging options possible. At Indepak, we offer many eco-friendly packaging options, including:

Starch-Based Bioplastics

With bio-based packaging, we are using materials from a renewable source – plants. At our facility, we use a type of bio-based plastic known as polylactic acid, or PLA. This type of plastic typically is created using corn starch or perhaps sugar cane.

While we can use PLA to create many types of bio-based packaging, this material commonly is used as filament for 3D printing. However, PLA is approved for use in food packaging and even can be used for medical implants and medical packaging. Some of the benefits of PLA include its impact-resistance and its clarity, which rivals that of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

In many cases PLA can be used in place of PET, which is not a bio-based material. However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. For instance, PLA is a more expensive option that PET and other non-bio-based materials.

Additionally, PLA has a lower heat deflection temperature than its petroleum-based rivals. This means that parts or packaging made from PLA can start to deform at around 110 degrees F. In some cases, this isn’t an issue, but if your packaging is shipped, stored or used in a hot climate, you may need to ship packaging using a refrigerated trailer and store packaging in a facility with temperature controls.

Recycled Content

Some sustainable packaging can be created using recycled content. This means that all or a portion of the materials used to create your packaging has been recycled. In some cases, this might be post-industrial recycled content or post-consumer recycled content.

With post-industrial recycled content, it basically means that these are the materials leftover when we create packaging. For instance, with thermoforming, we use large sheets of thermoform plastics and these are fed into our thermoforming equipment, heated up and molded to form your packages. The remaining material, known as a web, can be recycled and used again to make new packaging.

With post-consumer recycled content, this means that the materials were used to create packaging (or something else) and that this was used by the consumer. For instance, plastic water bottles or plastic food packaging, such as a microwavable dinner tray, might enjoy a second life as another type of packaging.

Recyclable Materials

Just about every material we use at Indepak is recyclable. Our facility includes multiple lines of high-speed thermoforming equipment capable of processing materials such as PET and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). These two plastics are accepted by virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States, making it easy for consumers to recycle packaging made from these materials.

In addition, we can process materials such as polypropylene (PP), high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), oriented polystyrene (OPS) and several other materials. Each of these materials can be recycled and reused to create something new.

Combination Designs

Blister packaging can be an excellent option for many products, especially retail products and personal care items. In many cases, we can reduce the overall amount of plastic we use by created combination designs that incorporate paper/pulp.

For instance, we are experts in the creation of trap blisters, which is a type of blister where we create a custom plastic piece that surrounds and protects (and displays) your product and rather than create the entire package out of plastic, we “trap” the plastic portion in between two pieces of paperboard.

Less Is More

In general, our design team is always looking for new ways to reduce the amount of material needed for each packaging project. While this leads us to more sustainable packaging options, using less material also reduces packaging costs for our clients. Providing you with high-quality sustainable packaging that meets your needs and budget is always our goal.

While you might be tempted to consider other materials, plastics can be the best options for many products for a variety of reasons, including:

Impact-Resistance

If a plastic package is dropped or jostled, the plastic will absorb the impact and protect your product. This is a huge advantage over glass, aluminum or paper packaging.

Moisture-Resistance

Chemical-Resistance

Tamper-Resistance

Visibility

At Indepak, we can provide you with many sustainable packaging options, including bio-based packaging. We can design clamshells and all types of trays and blister packaging for a wide range of industries, including:

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

Give us a call at any time and let’s discuss your sustainable packaging project. We’ve been an industry leader for more than 50 years, and look forward to working with your company.