Monthly Archives: September 2015

Custom Thermoforming & Polypropylene

When it comes to custom thermoforming, the team at Indepak uses a wide variety of different thermoplastics. Polypropylene, also known simply as PP, is one of the options that our clients can consider when selecting packaging materials. Here are a few facts about versatile polypropylene.

Polypropylene is used for a variety of custom thermoforming projects and also can be used to create fibers for carpeting, rope, tape and even clothing. In addition, this material is used to make toys, plastic vehicle parts, drinking straws, reusable containers and much more. Polypropylene is strong and sturdy yet flexible and also offers a good level of chemical resistance.

Because of this chemical resistance, as well as its heat resistance, PP can be used for custom thermoforming for a variety of food products. This includes foods, such as catsup, which might be warm or hot when first placed into the bottles. Of course, polypropylene also is used to store foods such as yogurt and ice cream. This plastic does not contain bisphenol A or BPA, nor does it leach any harmful chemicals into the foods or liquids placed inside the package or bottle.

Not only is polypropylene quite strong and versatile, it also is very lightweight, which is always a plus when it comes to custom thermoforming. Reducing package weight can have a positive impact on your overall shipping costs, which is just one of the many reasons why thermoplastics can be an excellent option for packaging.

Polypropylene is one of the most widely used plastics on earth, and it is recyclable. It is identified for recycling centers with the resin identification code of 5. Most recycling centers accept polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which has a code of 1 and also high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which has a code of 2. These days, more and more curbside recycling programs also are accepting polypropylene, as well. However, even in communities where PP is not accepted curbside, there are ways to recycle this type of plastic. Often, there are local recycling centers that will accept polypropylene, and it can then be reused to create everything from plastic trays to battery cases for vehicles to brooms.

Polypropylene might be an excellent choice for your custom thermoforming project, and we can also combine this thermoplastic with other materials to create the ideal package or product for your needs. We also create packaging and products out of materials such as HDPE, PET, PETG, PVC, ABS, OPS and even starch-based bio materials. We can take a look at your product and select the ideal thermoplastic for your needs and budget.

Custom thermoforming is a highly versatile process, and our design team can create a package in virtually any shape or size. We can also create many custom thermoplastic parts, custom thermoform trays and much more. In addition, we are happy to help with package fulfilment and inventory management. For more than 45 years, we have been helping create custom thermoforming solutions for clients from a myriad of industries and look forward to helping you with any project, large or small.

Corporate Recycling Tips From A Thermoforming Company

At Indepak, plastic is our passion, but we understand that with great plastic comes great responsibility. We are based just outside of Portland, a community known for its environmental innovation. As Oregonians, we are committed to reducing, re-using and recycling and have been for many years. We’ve been a low-waste operation for many years, and can offer a few tips to our clients that are seeking ways to reduce waste in their own operation.

The team at our thermoforming company constantly is busy with design and production tasks, and we know that your employees are busy as well. Obviously, productivity is what is most important to any company, so your corporate sustainability goals should be as easy as possible to attain. It can help to start out slowly and introduce just one new goal at a time.

For instance, begin with the recycling aspect of the three R’s (reduce, re-use and recycle). First, call or visit the website of your local waste management company. They should be able to provide you with information about which items can be recycled. Your waste company might have several easy options for your company’s recycling program.

Once you have discussed your needs with the waste services company, set up recycling bins in convenient areas and label each bin clearly. You can have one bin for paper, one for plastics, one for aluminum and one for glass, as well as general trash bins for items that don’t seem to fit any category. When it comes to the bin that will hold thermoforming plastics, be sure you know which types of plastics are accepted by your local recycling service.

Most thermoplastics are recyclable and at our thermoforming company, we are fortunate to live in an area where many types of plastic are accepted by our waste management company. In some areas, however, only plastics that are labeled with a number one or number two might be accepted. These typically include plastic water bottles and other drink containers, which might make up the bulk of your plastic waste in general.

Reducing not only helps the environment, but this aspect of sustainability actually can improve your profitability. As a thermoforming company, we obviously use large amounts of plastic each day. As part of our reduction plan, we design packaging that limits waste as much as possible, and the plastic trimmed away from our thermoplastic packages usually can be recycled and reused to make other items.

In addition, at our thermoforming company, we also have found ways to reduce our paper usage. Paper and ink are highly expensive, and reducing the use of these two items definitely can be a big money saver for your company. Simply using a cloud-based system to store and share documents can reduce paper use, as well as sending out electronic invoices and electronic faxes.

When it comes to the re-using aspect of the three R’s, this can be one of the trickier areas simply because it’s not as easy or convenient to manage. You can discuss your corporate sustainability goals during staff meetings and encourage employees to use re-usable containers as much as possible. At our thermoforming company, many employees bring lunches and snacks in re-usable thermoplastic containers and opt for re-usable water and coffee flasks over using a new paper cup, plastic cup or plastic bottle. Hopefully, just sparking a discussion about sustainability and corporate social responsibility can be enough to encourage some employees to make a few changes.

In our thermoforming operation, we are committed to providing sustainable options for our clients. If you need a thermoplastic package or other thermoplastic product, we have many environmentally-friendly choices for your consideration. For instance, we offer post-consumer grade materials as well as starch-based bio materials. Using highly recyclable thermoplastics, such as PET or HDPE, also might be an option. Give us a call today and we can discuss your packaging needs, as well as some sustainable options for your unique project.