At Indepak, we can design thermoform plastic packaging, trays and containers using a wide variety of materials. The materials we select for each client vary on several factors, including the following.
- Type of Product
Each type of thermoform plastic has its own unique characteristics. For instance, some are more chemical-resistant than others. Some thermoform plastics are more heat-resistant than others. Some plastics offer a higher level of impact resistance than others. Many products are static-sensitive, and we need to select plastic materials that will protect your product from static electricity. Our design team will study your product carefully to determine which materials are the best fit for your product.
Staying within your budget is always an important part of material selection. In general, thermoformed plastic packaging is one of the most affordable options available, but some plastic materials are more affordable than others. We always do our best to create the most affordable packaging solutions for each client.
We’ve been a leading supplier of food packaging and medical packaging for decades, and these types of products often require us to use plastics that are approved for food contact or suitable for downstream sterilization applications. We have many packaging materials that are FDA-approved for your specialty food products as well as materials ideal for use as medical trays and medical or pharmaceutical packaging.
Types of Plastic We Use
At Indepak, we have multiple lines of high-speed thermoforming equipment capable of processing a wide range of materials. This helps us meet the needs of a diverse clientele. Here are a few types of thermoform plastic materials we commonly use.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) – This plastic material is used, most notably perhaps, to make LEGO bricks, but it can be used to create items such as thermoform trays. We often used this material when we created business-to-business tote trays for industrial applications, but it also can be used to make parts and even complete products. It also is approved for food contact although it is not suitable for products that need to be heated as it has a low melting point.
HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) – This type of thermoform plastic packaging material offers a high level of moisture resistance as well as chemical resistance, which is why is often used to package cleaning products and personal care products, such as shampoo. HDPE also is approved for food contact and commonly is used for medical packaging.
HIPS (High-Impact Polystyrene) – When you think about polystyrene, you probably think about Styrofoam, but HIPS is much stronger and much more impact-resistant than its foam-like cousin. HIPS can be used for specialty foods and often is used to make bakery trays and clamshells to hold deli items. HIPS has a low melting point, so it’s not suitable for some food packaging applications, such as holding microwavable meals.
OPS (Oriented Polystyrene) – OPS is often used to create plastic films, but it can be used to create packaging. It can be used to create food packaging for refrigerated and frozen foods, as well as bakery or deli items. OPS offers excellent clarity, allowing consumers to easily view your products. We can use OPS for rigid packaging, but we do not manufacture plastic films or flexible packaging at our facility.
PET & PETG (Polyethylene terephthalate) – PET is what is used to create all those plastic water bottles we use. PETG plastic is glycol-modified PET, and it feels a bit softer than PET and has few other unique characteristics. We will let you whether PET or PETG is a better option for your packaging project. PET and PETG can be used for many types of packaging, and are FDA-approved for food contact. PET is very lightweight, yet extremely strong. PET and PETG are highly chemically resistant and can be used to create containers for everything from cooking oil to cleaning products.
PP (Polypropylene) – PP is approved for use in food products, and can be a good option, as it is moisture-resistant but also helps keeps the food inside moist, which can be important for many food products. PP also has a higher melting point with many plastics, which means it could be used with microwavable foods. PP also can be a good choice for some electronics packaging, as it is highly resistant to electricity.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – When you think of PVC, you probably think about PVC pipes and PVC is a great material for pipes because it’s inexpensive, durable and has high moisture resistance and chemical resistance. However, it also can be a good choice as retail packaging for many products. It’s clear, but you can print colorful labeling directly on the package and, because it’s highly impact-resistant, it protects your products during transport or if it is bumped off a store shelf.
Starch-based bioplastics – These plastic materials are created using renewable resources, such as cornstarch. Many of our customers love this option for the sustainability factor, although these plastics are a bit costlier than traditional plastics.
Types of Packaging We Can Create
At Indepak, we specialize in creating several types of thermoformed plastic packaging. Keep in mind, though, we can create unique custom designs that don’t fit in a typical packaging category and not everything we create at Indepak is a package. In some cases, we can design parts or entire products for our clients. Here’s a quick look at some of the common packaging types we produce.
Blister Packaging – We can design and manufacture blister packaging for just about any retail product, including toys, tools, office supplies, personal care products, batteries, cleaning products and anything else your company might produce. If you need pharmaceutical blisters, we can provide those, as well.
Clamshell Packaging – A clamshell is actually a blister pack that folds onto itself with a hinge at one end, but they tend to be considered a class of their own. We can design clamshells for specialty food products as well as an array of retail products. We also offer package fulfillment services, so if you need heat sealing, RF sealing or another process, we can help. We also can design easy-open clamshell packaging suitable for use as eCommerce packaging. Many online retailers appreciate it when vendors can provide easy-open options for their customers.
Plastic Trays – Trays can come in all shapes and sizes, and we design thermoform trays for many industries. We can design plastic trays for specialty food products, such as deli items or frozen dinners. We can design plastic trays for medical kits, electronic items, agricultural uses and more. We also often design plastic trays that will be placed into exterior packaging, such as trays for crackers or cookies or trays for tool kits, etc.
Thermoform Plastic Containers – Whether you need a container or tub with a lid or without, we can design all types of containers. If you need a container or a plastic tray suitable for use in modified atmosphere packaging, we can create these, and we will work with your filming supplier to ensure material compatibility.
Industries We Serve
- Specialty Foods
- Medical & Pharmaceutical
- Personal Care
- Industrial (business-to-business tote trays & more)
- Retail (we can create a package for just about any product)
No matter what type of rigid, thermoformed plastic packaging you might need, the team at Indepak can match you with the perfect plastic materials. We’ve been designing and producing quality custom plastic packaging for more than 50 years and look forward to helping you find a total packaging solution that meets your needs and budget, so feel free to contact us at any time to talk about your packaging needs.