Monthly Archives: October 2016

6 Surprising Facts About Plastic Thermoforming

If you are searching for a packaging company and not entirely sure what type of packaging you want or need, plastic thermoforming can be a good fit for virtually any type of company.

1. Plastic Thermoforming Offers Something For Every Industry

The team at Indepak has been designing plastic packaging, thermoform trays and thermoplastic products for more than 40 years. During these years, we have served virtually any industry imaginable, including pharmaceutical and medical firms, electronics companies, specialty food companies and too many retail manufacturers to name in this short blog post. Plastic thermoforming is so diverse that we can meet just about any specification you might have. For instance, some clients need plastics with anti-static properties while others may need plastics suitable for downstream sterilization, and still others might need plastics that have been approved to hold food products or beverages. With thermoplastics, it’s easy to find a great match.

2. There Is A Perfect Plastic For Everything

It doesn’t matter if your company makes cookies or power drills, there is a type of plastic ideal for use as packaging. Each type of plastic available for plastic thermoforming boasts unique chemical properties.

For instance, polypropylene (PP) is one type of thermoplastic we use. PP offers excellent resistant to weak acids, weak alkalis and strong alkalis. It is also quite heat resistant. Because of these special characteristics, it can be a good choice for reusable food containers that need to withstand the heat of the dishwasher and microwave. This is just one of many types of thermoplastics we can use for packaging or products. Our design team will consider the specifications for your unique product and match it to an ideal type of plastic.

3. Most Thermoplastics Are Recyclable

We also know that the thermoplastics used for those our water bottles are recyclable, but it might surprise you to learn that virtually all thermoplastics can be recycled and reused. While polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene are the two thermoplastics that are most commonly collected from our homes, that doesn’t mean that plastics such as PVC and LDPE cannot also be recycled. More and more recycling centers in the United States are accepting a larger range of thermoplastics, so be sure to check and see what types of plastics you can place in your recycling bins.

4. Recycling Transforms Thermoplastics Into An Array Of Products

While some of the plastics we use at our plastic thermoforming facility will be recycled and reused to make new packaging, this is not the only way recycled plastics are used. For instance, recycled plastics can be used to make everything from rugs to dinner plates. Even clothing can be created using thermoplastics, as well as your backyard patio furniture and the plastic playhouse or playground equipment your children enjoy using at the park.

5. We Can Make Plastics Out Of Starch

While you can recycle almost all commonly used thermoplastics, there are some options that are even more sustainable. At Indepak, we can use starch-based bioplastics to create some types of packaging. These plastics are created from renewable resources and are biodegradable. While these are not an option for all types of plastic thermoforming projects, they are a good choice for some food containers, cups and lids. This type of thermoplastic is known as PLA or polylactic acid. In the United States, corn starch is used to create PLA and, in other countries, other types of plants such as sugarcane or tapioca are used.

Not only can we make cups and containers out of PLA, this starch-based thermoplastic can be used to create items such as clothing, diapers, upholstery and even 3D printer filament. While PLA is biodegradable, it does need to be processed separately from the trash in your regular trash bin and the recyclables in your recycling bin. Specific conditions are needed in order for PLA to biodegrade quickly. If sent to a composting facility, it will take a few months for PLA to biodegrade as these facilities offer the ideal conditions for biodegradation of PLA. At the landfill, the PLA will biodegrade but the process will take a significantly longer period of time.

6. Plastic Thermoforming Saves Money

Using thermoplastics for your packaging is sure to be your most economical choice, and it’s not just because thermoplastics tend to be inexpensive materials. The material cost is certainly lower than many other options, but using plastic thermoforming also means that you will be producing very lightweight packaging. With shipping costs continuing to rise, using packaging that weighs very little just makes good economic sense. We also can create strong, protective packaging that fits the shape of your product exactly. This also can reduce the size of packaging, which also reduces weight and saves money.

If you need packaging or thermoplastic products, contact us today and we will get started on your unique plastic thermoforming project. You can contact us via phone or click on the Contact tab at the top of our homepage and fill out our quick contact form. A representative from our sales team quickly will get in touch with you to discuss your plastic thermoforming needs.

4 Reasons Why You Need Custom Plastic Packaging

Many people opt for stock packaging for their products. While this might seem like the best and most affordable option, it can be wise to invest just a little bit more money and opt for custom plastic packaging instead. If you are unconvinced, read on and let us entice you to consider the custom option.

1. Custom Packaging Is Stylish

Stock packaging might be well-constructed, but it’s not particularly stylish or innovative. It’s inexpensive simply because it is produced in huge amounts and then used for a variety of products. When it sits on the shelf, it looks just like hundreds of other packages and doesn’t really set your product apart from the competition.

With custom plastic packaging, you can opt for innovative designs, both with the packaging itself as well as your labeling. Our design team can create virtually any type of design you might want. We use a wide variety of plastics and our facility includes a large selection of thermoforming equipment, so we can produce virtually any shape or size of packaging that you might need.

2. Custom Plastic Packaging Is Affordable

Most people select stock packaging because of the affordability, but custom plastic packaging can be nearly as affordable. Thermoplastics are highly affordable materials in general, and there are many material options, so you won’t have any trouble finding a plastic that suits your budget. Additionally, stock packaging is often a bit too big and bulky, whereas custom plastic packaging will be designed to fit your product exactly. This reduces waste and because you may need less packaging overall, this decreases packaging weight, which might mean you will spend less on shipping costs.

3. Custom Plastic Packaging Offers Superior Protection

A stock package is designed to hold many different products, which means that the level of protection can be minimal, depending on the size and shape of your product. With custom packaging, we can choose a strong, durable thermoplastic and create a design that protects every millimeter of the product.

4. Custom Plastic Packaging Is Sustainable & Recyclable

To be fair, most thermoplastic packaging, whether stock or custom, will be recyclable. However, some thermoplastics are easier to recycle than others so with a custom package, you can select thermoplastics that are allowable by virtually all curbside recycling programs. Additionally, you can opt for combination packaging and packaging with some recycled content and even starch-based bioplastics. We have many sustainable options here at Indepak.

We have more than 40 years of experience creating plastic packaging for a wide variety of industries. Our design team is highly experienced at working with a myriad of retail clients as well as those in the food and beverage industries. In addition to creating custom plastic packaging, we also provide services such as package fulfillment and inventory management. Our goal is to always provide an affordable total solution for each of our clients. Get in touch with us today, and we will begin designing your custom packaging.

Custom Packaging Solutions From Indepak

When we were first getting started, back in 1967, plastic packaging was not nearly as common as it is now. If you can remember back to those crazy days of the late 1960s and even the 1970s, you might remember that products came in glass bottles or packaged in tin or paperboard. Our facility looks quite different from the way it appeared 50 years ago, but our commitment to providing quality custom packaging solutions hasn’t changed.

What do we mean by custom packaging solutions? It’s simple. We aim to provide each and every customer with more than a great thermoplastic package. Our goal is to collaborate and truly understand your needs as a unique client. We serve clients in a wide variety of industries, including specialty food companies, electronics firms, pharmaceutical and medical companies, industrial firms, agricultural firms and all types of retail companies.

We can create custom blister packaging, clamshell packaging and a wide variety of thermoform trays. This includes business-to-business tote trays, plastic insert trays and much more. Of course, not everything we design is related to packaging. Thermoforming can be used to create many products or product parts, and we can help you determine whether or not our custom thermoforming services will be the best option for your unique product.

In order to create custom packaging, our design team looks at many aspects including space, weight, strength and, of course, presentation. We also keep budget in mind. Fortunately, with so many types of thermoplastics available, we can always find an affordable solution. Our facility includes multiple lines of high-speed equipment which means we are able to provide a larger range of services and solutions for customers across many industries.

Once a design has been created, our engineers begin the process of crafting a prototype. Our facility features an in-house tooling shop, and this ensures that prototypes are crafted to exact specifications while staying on schedule and within your budget. Everything for your project can be completed in-house, which speeds up production and keeps costs down. This is all part of our commitment to providing a total custom packaging solution for each client.

Throughout the design, prototyping and production processes, we have quality controls in place, and we can provide complete traceability from the information on each box label all the way back to our suppliers’ manufacturing records.

Of course, our custom packaging solutions also include package fulfillment services. This might include sealing your packaging using a process such as heat sealing or perhaps RF welding. If you need something else, let us know and we can find a quality solution for you.

We also create custom inventory management processes for our clients, if needed. Our 50,000-square-foot warehouse provides plenty of space for inventory, and we can create everything from a simple minimum/maximum inventory system to more complex systems such as a customer-based web portal, it all depends on what you need.

If you are searching for custom packaging solutions, contact the team at Indepak today. To reach us, click on the “Contact” tab at the top of this webpage. From there, you can fill out our quick contact form, send us an email or call our toll-free phone number.

Understanding Retail Product Packaging Labels

Every package needs to include a label or product information. Many consumers are unaware that there are actually government regulations that state what types of information must appear on labels or packages. Different industries, of course, have different labeling requirements and these requirements include a variety of helpful information.

Basic Regulations

In 1966, the United States Congress passed the Fair Packaging & Labeling Act which includes regulations that apply to a wide variety of consumer products. Each label must include a statement that identifies the product or commodity. The label further must include the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor. Finally, the net quantity of the contents must be included. This can be a weight, a measure or a numerical count.

This act has been amended several times, and recent changes include requiring the place-of-business listing to include online resources, such as a website URL for the company. It also required the addition of more substantial metric information. The European Union has, for several years, pushed the U.S. government to remove U.S. customary units from labels and instead include only metric units. However, our government has yet to make that change.

Additional Food Packaging Requirements

Necessarily, food packaging labels are highly regulated. After all, if you are providing foods or beverages for consumers, it’s important that your customers understand exactly what is contained within your custom retail packaging. A food manufacturer must include all of the general labeling information stated before, as well as some nutritional information.

For instance, your custom retail food packaging must include a list of each of the ingredients in your food or beverage in descending order of predominance by weight. This information also must appear on the same panel of the packaging as the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor.

Regulations also require that you list any major food allergens that might be included in your product, even in trace amounts. These allergens include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans and wheat. Obviously, people are allergic to many other substances, but those are the allergens that comprise about 90 percent of all food allergies, therefore, this is highly helpful information for consumers.

Nutritional information such as calories per serving, information about fat content, total carbohydrates and information about cholesterol, sodium, fiber, sugars and protein also need to appear on food labels. However, there are exceptions to these rules and special provisions for some products, such as fresh produce and self-service bulk foods to name just a few.

Pharmaceutical Packaging Regulations

Just as with food and beverage packaging, pharmaceutical products also must include specific information to ensure public safety. In fact, as a consumer, you probably have noticed that every over-the-counter medication includes a huge amount of information on its custom retail packaging.

The packaging presented to consumers for over-the-counter medications and prescription medications might be presented in different ways, but it all boils down to providing crucial information about dosage and usage instructions. Additionally, packaging will include information about possible side effects as well as drug interactions. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are companies out there that can review your labels and product information to determine whether or not the information complies with FDA regulations.

Products “Made In The USA”

Many consumers will choose one product over another if the product states that it was “Made in the USA,” on its retail product packaging. To ensure that your product was, in fact, created in the USA, the Federal Trade Commission has some restrictions regarding this claim. In order to legally state this information, the FTC states that the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the United States. It is important to note that the United States is meant to include all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and all U.S. territories and possessions, such as Puerto Rico.

This is just a short overview of what might need to appear on your custom retail packaging. Whether you produce a food product, an electric drill, office supplies or another product, we can create custom retail packaging that suits your needs.