Category Archives: Custom Packaging Solutions

Modified Atmosphere Packaging: 5 Helpful Facts

Worried about shelf life? If you are in the specialty food industry, extending shelf life is probably something you think about every day. Modified atmosphere packaging is a solution that might be exactly what you need to preserve and protect your food product, keeping it fresh for as long as possible. Here are a few quick facts about this type of packaging.

1. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Keeps Oxygen Out
While oxygen is essential for humankind, its effect on food products is not quite as positive. By removing oxygen from a package, you can extend the shelf life of that item by days or weeks. In addition to keeping oxygen out, other gases are added to further preserve the look and quality of the food item. For instance, carbon dioxide might be added as a preserving gas or perhaps nitrogen.

The type of gas that is used in your packaging will depend upon the type of food product that you sell. For instance, dried food products such as pasta or dried fruit as well as fresh fruit and vegetables will be treated with nitrogen. Fresh pasta, soft cheeses, cooked meats, raw oily fish and raw poultry as well as ready-made meals might be treated with a combination of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Bakery goods and hard cheeses might need only carbon dioxide to help extend their shelf life and freshness.

2. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Is Not New
While advancements in modified atmosphere packaging are being made all of the time, this idea behind this type of packaging is not a new one. In the 1930s, carbon dioxide was pumped into food storage rooms on ships to prolong the life of fruits and vegetables. The first modified atmosphere packages hit store shelves back in the 1970s, primarily to prolong the life of different cuts of meat. Today, of course, we use modified atmosphere packaging for a much wider variety of fresh and dried foods.

3. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Works For Many Products
While you might associate modified atmosphere packaging with products such as hamburger, steak and other raw meat and poultry, it can be used for many other products. This includes luncheon meats and cured meats, seafood, hard and soft cheeses, grated cheeses, fresh and dried pasta and all types of vegetables and fruits. Pre-packaged sandwiches and ready meals also can be preserved with this type of packaging, and even some bakery goods.

4. The Added Costs Can Be Well Worth It
While using modified atmosphere packaging can be a pricier option at the outset, allowing foods to enjoy a longer shelf life can be cost-saving in general. After all, if your meat once had a shelf life of just five days and we could double that time or extend it even further, then you have the opportunity to sell your product for a longer stretch of time. Additionally, with the extended shelf life, you can ship your product further than ever before, extending your market.

5. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Is A Healthier Choice
Modified atmosphere packaging is a healthier choice for the consumer as well as for the planet. This type of packaging reduces food waste, which a huge benefit. Additionally, with modified atmosphere packaging, the use of artificial preservatives is not as necessary, which makes your product a healthier option for consumers.

If you are interested in learning more about modified atmosphere packaging as well as our many other specialty foods packaging options, give the team at Indepak at call at any time. Since 1967, we have served the specialty food market by providing high-quality custom packaging and thermoform trays.

Wholesale Packaging: 4 Easy Ways To Cut Costs

Every product deserves a great package, but you also don’t want your packaging expenses to eat up your budget. At Indepak, we’ve compiled some simple ways to reduce the costs associated with your wholesale packaging, including the following:

1. Use Inexpensive Materials
At Indepak, we use a wide range of thermoform plastics to create wholesale packaging. One of the perks of using thermoplastics is the cost, as these materials are some of the most affordable packaging materials available. Our thermoforming equipment can process materials such as PET, PETG, ABS, PVC, HDPE and even starch-based bioplastics to name a few. This allows us to meet the packaging and budgetary needs of a wide range of clients from many different industries, including the food & beverage industry, medical & pharmaceutical industries and the electronics industry. We also can design affordable packaging for virtually any retail product, from tools to office supplies to personal care items.

2. Use Lightweight Materials
Thermoform plastics are not just affordable materials, they also are very lightweight. Heavier materials cost more to ship, and shipping costs easily eat up your budget, so it just makes sense to look for the lightest materials possible. Using lightweight materials as well as lightweight protective packaging materials, such as packing peanuts, plastic air pillows or bubble wrap can help keep shipping as affordable as possible.

3. Reduce Your Packaging Size
With the use of thermoform plastic materials, your wholesale packaging doesn’t have to be huge in order to be highly protective. Many thermoform plastics are very strong, which eliminates the need to create excess packaging. When you use fewer materials to create your packaging, this automatically saves you some money. With smaller packaging, you can ship more units per box, which also can reduce your shipping costs. Our team of designers will look for creative ways to create packaging that uses as little material as possible while still protecting your product and displaying it in an attractive way.

4. Improve Your Shipping Strategies
Aside from reducing packaging sizes and packaging weight, there are a few other ways to reduce your shipping costs. At Indepak, we can help by offering you packaging fulfilment, inventory management and shipping services. In this way, we provide a total solution for each of our clients, from product design to shipping. Using just one company for multiple services can help you save time and money.

If you wish to handle shipping yourself, consider getting quotes from multiple shipping companies and shopping for a company that offers competitive rates with reliable service. Consider being flexible about shipping times, as well. For instance, you might normally send out shipments during normal business hours, but so do hundreds of other companies. If you can ship out your product early in the morning or later at night, this can save money.

Once you settle on a shipping company, be sure to maximize your costs with that company. For instance, you might either consider using their packaging materials or ensuring that your packaging material won’t incur dimensional fees simply because they are a slightly different size than the packaging used by your shipping company. After all, actual weight and dimensional weight are two completely different kettles of fish. Do whatever you can to reduce both the actual and dimensional weights of your product and you will save money.

Another tip to consider would be to invest in third-party insurance. While a shipping carrier might provide insurance, this can be more expensive than simply finding an independent insurance company to cover the cost of your items, particularly if you product is an expensive item.

If you need wholesale packaging, the team at Indepak is here to help. We can design any size or shape of packaging that you might need for just about any product imaginable. Our goal is to consistently provide our customers with high-quality packaging on time and on budget, and we will do our best to help you reduce your wholesale packaging costs.

Compostable Packaging & Composting Facts

If you are searching for sustainable packaging options, one possibility you might consider would be compostable packaging. This can be a very eco-friendly choice, however, it is one of the newer sustainable options available to manufacturers, so many people don’t know a lot about compostable packaging or compostable materials in general.

Before we delve into the world of compostable packaging, many people are confused about the differences between biodegradable packaging and compostable packaging. In some cases, biodegradable packaging might be compostable, but this is not always true. Some biodegradable packaging must be sent to a special facility where it undergoes a biodegradation process.

Compostable packaging is packaging that will break down or biodegrade, but compostable indicates that your packaging probably can be placed in curbside green waste containers along with other compostable materials. Neither biodegradable packaging nor compostable packaging can be placed in standard recycling bins nor should they go into a landfill. Neither of these types of packaging can break down, or biodegrade, in a landfill, as the conditions in landfill are not conducive to the process of biodegradation.

There are many exciting advancements being made in the world of compostable packaging. For instance, one company is developing compostable plastic film that will biodegrade when it is placed with other organic waste in a compost bin or at a composting facility. This plastic film can be used to make grocery bags, plastic wrap and other similar items. Interestingly enough, this plastic film is derived from petrochemical polymers and not natural materials, as you might think.

Some starch-based bioplastics are compostable and can be an excellent option for your custom plastic packaging. There are many benefits to using these types of plastics, particularly if you select compostable varieties of bioplastic. For instance, these plastics are made using renewable sources, they do biodegrade if placed in a composting facility, and they still produce a quality product.

A few of the most common types of bioplastics include items made from bamboo, hemp or perhaps polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from sources such as sugar cane or corn starch. Again, not all of these materials, even those that are plant-based, are compostable.

In addition to compostable packaging, many other items are compostable and often can be placed in a curbside green waste bin. Most people with green waste bins understand that grass clippings, leaves and some plants can be placed in these bins, but there are many other items that should be placed in these bins and kept out of landfills.

For instance, any vegetable or fruit scraps you might have can go into the green waste bin. Cardboard, such as pizza boxes, often can be placed in these bins. Cooked rice or pasta and stale bread all can be placed in a green waste trash can. Coffee grounds and loose leaf tea also can be placed in these bins. Beyond that, every community seems to have different rules and restrictions regarding green waste, and consumers are encouraged to go online and check out their local regulations.

If you are interested in learning more about compostable packaging and what your options might be, give us a call at Indepak. In addition to offering starch-based bioplastics, we also might have several other sustainable options that might be of interest to you.

Barrier Packaging: 4 Facts You Need To Know

The use of barrier packaging has grown exponentially over the last few years and this growth definitely is expected to continue. Barrier packaging can be an excellent option for many of our customers, and at Indepak we provide clients with a wide range of packaging options. For those unfamiliar with this type of packaging, here are a few helpful facts.

1. Barrier Packaging Can Be Used For Many Products
While we often see barrier packaging used with food products, many other products can be placed inside these packages. This includes items such as detergent and many beauty and personal care items. Stand-up barrier packages are quite popular these days and can be used to hold almost anything, from solids to liquids.

2. Barrier Packaging Protects & Preserves Your Product
Because barrier packaging often is associated with food products, many people assume that one of the main benefits of using this type of packaging is its ability to inhibit oxidation. While this is certainly true, barrier packaging also can protect your product from other gases that can affect the product as well as from moisture and mold. Additionally, many types of barrier packaging are resistant to UV light, which also can affect the appearance of your product and, if it’s a food item, even the taste can be affected if exposed to UV light.

3. Barrier Packaging Is Lightweight
There are many reasons to consider using thermoform plastics for your packaging, and the light weight of these materials certainly is a factor. Barrier packaging is particularly lightweight, which reduces your shipping costs, while still protecting your product from damage and contamination.

4. Barrier Packaging Can Be An Eco-Friendly Choice
Many people worry that barrier packaging cannot be recycled, but this is usually not the case. Just as with all other types of plastic packaging, the materials used to create the packaging dictate whether or not the item can be placed in a recycling bin. Some materials, such as PET and HDPE, are accepted by most curbside recycling programs, but many other materials can be recycled, as well.

While we strongly recommend that consumers recycle everything they possibly can, we know that many people do still toss plastic packaging into the regular trash bin. One advantage of barrier packaging is that, while it should be recycled, it does take up far less space in a landfill than other types of plastic packaging as well as items such as glass jars or aluminum containers.

If you are interested in barrier packaging or any other type of plastic packaging, don’t hesitate to give us a call at any time. We have been a leader in the custom packaging industry for more than 50 years, and create an innovative design that fits your product needs and budget.

Plastic Packaging: 5 Tips For Proper Recycling

At Indepak, virtually all of our plastic packaging can be recycled. While some items can just be tossed into the recycling bin, other items need to be handled a bit differently. Here’s a quick list of recycling tips that might help you learn the best ways to ensure that your recyclables are handled correctly.

1. Look At The Numbers
All thermoform plastic packaging and bottles should have a number surrounded by a triangle somewhere on its surface. This number indicates the type of plastic that was used to create the packaging. Most curbside recycling programs will accept plastics that feature a number 1 or number 2, but many larger cities and metro areas will accept plastics number 1-7. Your recycling trash bin might have information stamped on it, letting you know which plastics are accepted. Otherwise, head to the website of your refuse company to find out which plastics are allowed in the bins.

2. Make Recycling Easier
Whether you own a home or a business, there are ways to make it easier for your family or co-workers to recycle. Place two trash bins in your kitchen and label on for trash and one for recyclable items. You can even go further and have two trash cans and a covered bin for compostable materials, such as vegetable scraps, egg shells, loose leaf tea, coffee grounds, stale bread, peanut shells, cooked pasta and much more. You can either create compost to use in your yard and garden or toss these items in your green waste trash can.

For businesses, you can set out several recycling bins and label these bins so that people know what items can be recycled, such as plastic or glass bottles, copy paper, cardboard and other recyclable items. If you aren’t sure what items can be recycled, we again recommend that you go to your local refuse company’s website, and this should have all of the information you need.

3. Think Beyond Your Kitchen
Many homeowners keep their trash bins in the kitchen, which makes a good deal of sense. After all, the kitchen generates quite a bit of waste. But when you think about what can be recycled, don’t forget to think about items such as detergent and shampoo bottles, liquid soap containers and other items from the laundry room and bathrooms in your home. There’s plastic packaging in most rooms of our homes, so be sure to recycle items from areas beyond the kitchen.

4. Your Local Stores Can Help
Many items, such as plastic grocery bags, bread bags, zipper bags and the plastic wrap that surrounds multiple plastic water bottles, can be recycled. Many stores, especially grocery stores, will collect these bags and plastic film items and send them to special facilities where they can be recycled. Collect these items in a box or paper bag and drop them off at your local store once per week. These plastic film items should not be placed in your general recycling bin.

5. Avoid The Landfill
Plastic packaging obviously is not the only substance that can be recycled. Items such as copy paper, newspaper, cardboard, glass and aluminum usually can be placed into your recycling bin. If you aren’t sure, do a bit of research to determine what can be recycled in your area. The goal is to reduce the amount of trash that is sent to our landfills, but, of course, there are some items that should not be disposed of in the recycle bin, the green waste bin or the regular trash bin. These include items such as electronics, light bulbs, batteries, motor oil and paint.

Many auto supply stores will take your old motor oil, and some paint stores will take old cans that still contain paint. For electronic waste, many communities will have special days when you can dump old computers, TVs and other e-waste for free at a specific location. Some communities allow you to throw used batteries and light bulbs into the regular trash bin, and some do not. Certain types of light bulbs, especially compact fluorescent bulbs, often must be taken to a special facility for disposal. Many retail stores these days, however, have places where you can drop off used bulbs and even batteries.

If you are in need of custom plastic packaging, we can help you find the most sustainable and eco-friendly options available. For more than 50 years, the team at Indepak has been committed to making quality plastic packaging as well as doing so in the most responsible and sustainable way possible.

Clamshell Packaging: Choosing Sustainable Options

The clamshell is one of the most versatile types of packaging and can be used with a wide range of retail and food-related products. When a new client contacts us about a packaging project, their three main concerns tend to be affordability, production time and sustainability. Our goal is always to provide a total solution for each client, addressing all of these concerns. When it comes to eco-friendly clamshell packaging, we offer many sustainable options, including the following.

Easy-To-Recycle Materials
Virtually every material we use at Indepak is recyclable. Our facility includes multiple lines of high-speed thermoforming equipment, and this allows us to process a variety of thermoform plastic materials. Plastics such as PET, LDPE and HDPE are accepted by most curbside recycling programs in the United States. Selecting highly recyclable materials makes it easy for consumers to simply toss your package into the recycling bin after it has been used.

Post-Consumer Materials & Recycled Content
We also can create clamshell packaging using post-consumer grade materials, and well as pre-consumer materials. Post-consumer materials are plastics that have been used by consumers and were then recycled for a new use.

Pre-consumer materials are plastics that have not been used by consumers, typically manufacturing waste. For instance, perhaps a factory uses shrink wrap to cover products. Any shrink wrap that is recycled and not used to cover products would be pre-consumer materials. Aside from plastics, some examples of pre-consumer waste might be sawdust or perhaps fabric trimmed off clothing in a textile mill.

When we create clamshell packaging, we feed large sheets of plastic into our thermoforming equipment. This plastic is heated, molded into your package shape and excess plastic is trimmed away. This excess plastic is known as a web, and we ensure that all excess plastic and webs are recycled and used again for a future project. This material is technically being recycled but does not fall under the category of pre-consumer materials because it remains in our facility and is reused. If there are materials that we send away for recycling, this would fall under the guise of pre-consumer materials.

As we design your clamshell packaging, we can discuss the amount of recycled content to be included in your project. In some cases, 100% of the packaging will be created using recycled content, while in other cases, it might be less and some new materials may be used. Your packaging also might include a mix of pre-consumer and post-consumer materials.

Starch-Based Bio-Materials
Most thermoform plastics are by-products of petroleum, and while we can recycle these plastics again and again, petroleum is not a renewable resource. Therefore, bio-based and renewable plastics have been developed to fulfill our need for sustainable packaging materials. Some of these starch-based bio-materials are biodegradable and some are compostable. Compostable plastics usually can be placed in a consumer’s green waste container, but should not be placed in the recycling bin.

Of course, we also reduce waste in general through our design process. We ensure that each package carefully protects and preserves your product, but does not include any unnecessary extra packaging. When we feed sheets of thermoform plastic through our thermoforming machines, we also strive to use as much of the plastic sheet as possible, reducing the amount of web material left over.

In addition to producing clamshell packaging, we also can design and create all types of blister packaging, thermoform trays, containers with lids and much more. We offer sustainable options for every type of packaging we create, so be sure to ask about the many eco-friendly choices available when you contact us.

Plastic Thermoforming & ABS: 5 Fast Facts About This Material

At Indepak, we use many different materials for our plastic thermoforming projects. One type of plastic we use is known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS. While many of our customers are familiar with plastics such as PET or PVC, they don’t always know a great deal about ABS, so we thought it would be worthwhile to share some facts about this thermoform plastic.

1. Each Letter Stands For A Monomer
In basic terms, a monomer is a molecule that is capable of bonding to other molecules in order to create a polymer. ABS is a polymer, and each of its monomers features properties that come together to form one tough plastic. Acrylonitrile, for instance, offers a high level of chemical resistance and ages well, while butadiene is tough and quite impact resistant. Styrene adds rigidity as well as an attractive glossy sheen. Mix these monomers together, and you’ve created a plastic thermoforming material suitable for many projects.

2. Your Kids Probably Love ABS
ABS often is used to create toys, most notably Lego blocks, which are some of the most popular toys on the planet. Many other toys also are crafted from this plastic. This material also is used to make items such as those plastic recorders young children play at school and other musical instruments, such as clarinets.

3. ABS Is Used In 3D Printers
The two most common types of filament used in 3D printing are PLA (polylactic acid) and ABS. ABS often is chosen because it is quite sturdy and durable. Typically, 3D projects made from ABS will last longer than those made from PLA. Additionally, once you’ve created something out of ABS, it doesn’t warp when exposed to heat as PLA might.

3. ABS Is Often Used To Make Parts
At Indepak, our focus might seem to be on the creation of custom packaging, but we also can create parts through plastic thermoforming. ABS is used to make parts, such as automotive parts, because it is highly impact resistant and offers high heat resistance. It also can be used to create protective helmets and highly protective cases for laptops and cellular phones. We can use ABS to create many items, such as parts, thermoform trays, point-of-purchase displays and more.

4. ABS Is Recyclable
ABS is 100% recyclable, although unlike PET or HDPE, ABS is not as widely accepted by curbside recycling programs, although that is starting to change. On the West Coast, most large metro area recycling programs accept ABS and we are seeing more and more cities adding this plastic to their list. ABS has a recycling code of 7, and several other plastics also are bunched together under the number 7 code.

While it might every recycling program accepts ABS, it is wise to keep in mind that products made from ABS tend to be used for much longer than products typically made using PET or HDPE. PET is used to make single use water bottles and food containers, while ABS is used to make items such as toys, golf clubs, luggage cases and other products that have a very long life.

ABS is a versatile, affordable material that can be used for many plastic thermoforming projects. If you are interested in a project using ABS or any other material, don’t hesitate to give us a call at any time. Our facility includes a wide range of thermoforming equipment, capable of processing ABS, HIPS, HDPE, PVC, PET, PETG and many other materials.

Custom Packaging: Following 6 Food Industry Trends

Custom packaging has changed substantially since 1967 when we opened our doors, and the team at Indepak is always studying the latest trends in customized packaging. We strive to provide our customers with the latest and greatest packaging. Here are a few trends we’ve noticed in the last few years that are shaping our industry.

1. Sustainable Packaging
These days, virtually all of our customers ask about sustainable custom packaging options and most are surprised to learn just how many great options we can provide. Our selection of materials includes thermoform plastics that are easily recyclable as well as starch-based bioplastics and plastics that contain recycled or post-consumer materials. We also can create combination designs that reduce the amount of plastic that we use. Additionally, we can create smaller packaging to reduce waste and make it more eco-friendly to transport your products from place to place.

2. Modified Atmosphere Packaging
When it comes to customized packaging for the specialty foods industry, sustainability is not just about the packaging materials, but also about keeping foods as fresh as possible. Modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP, is all the rage these days, and it’s easy to understand why. MAP keeps foods fresh for days and sometimes weeks longer than ever before, which reduces food waste. This is better for the consumer’s pocketbook and better for our planet in general.

3. Convenience Sells
Consumers live busy lives, and custom packaging made for these on-the-go lifestyles is in high demand. Many of our clients ask us to create single-use designs, single-serving yogurt pots or perhaps single-snack packaging. In some cases, packaging also might include removable utensils so that consumers need only grab one unit and they have all they need to enjoy a snack or meal without bringing along any extra items.

4. Flexible Packaging
Flexible packaging has been around for a while and demand for this type of packaging continues to increase. Flexible packaging is lightweight and reduces packaging waste, making it a highly sustainable option. Additionally, we often add a barrier material to flexible packaging that keeps out moisture, oxygen and UV rays, leading to a longer shelf life.

5. Clear & Concise Information
When it comes to specialty foods, consumers are more concerned than ever before to learn about your product and they aren’t simply focusing on a slogan, message or clever design. They want to be able to clearly read ingredients and nutritional information and if your product is organic, non-GMO, vegan or perhaps addresses an allergy issue that information needs to be front and center on the package as more and more consumers make purchasing choices based upon the health factor of a product.

These are just a few of the hot trends in the food packaging industry, and if you do need custom packaging, contact the team at Indepak today. Over the course of the last 50 years, we’ve had extensive experience with the specialty foods industry and can create sustainable, cost-effective packaging for just about any type of food product.

Retail Product Packaging & 5 Facts About Sustainability

Retail product packaging and sustainability can go hand in hand, and while you might not immediately think about thermoform plastics as an option, these materials are more eco-friendly than you might imagine. At Indepak, our goal is to produce the highest quality packaging with the least environmental impact, so here are a few facts that highlight how we can create sustainable packaging options for you.

1. Less Is More
While some packaging materials might seem more eco-friendly, you often must use more of these materials to create a package that protects your product. With thermoform plastics, we can design a package that surrounds your product precisely, eliminating the need for excess packaging.

The light weight of thermoform plastics also should be factored into the overall sustainability of these materials. Because the items are lighter with less packaging, you can transport more units in a single shipment, which reduces the amount of energy needed for transportation.

2. Combination Designs Can Help
While we often create retail product packaging entirely out of thermoform plastic, we also can incorporate other materials into the design. We often create packaging that includes plastic as well as paperboard or pulp. For instance, there are many types of blister packaging that incorporate paperboard and plastic, and these blister packs are one of the most common types of retail product packaging. We can create many different blisters, including trap blisters, face seal blisters and more.

3. Using Post-Consumer Materials
When you talk about recycling, reusing and renewing, it is important to note that virtually all of the materials we use are recyclable, but we also offer the option of using renewed materials. We can create retail product packaging that includes post-consumer materials, and these materials are just as protective and strong as materials that have not yet been used by consumers.

4. Starch-Based Biomaterials Are An Option
Using renewable resources to create plastic has been around for some time, and we can create packaging using starch-based bioplastics. While these plastics are not suitable for use as packaging for every type of product, it might be an option for you and our equipment is capable of processing these eco-friendly materials.

5. Food Products & MAP: Keeping Foods Fresh
When we think about waste and sustainability in regard to packaging, we often simply think about the materials used for the packaging. But what about the product itself? If you need retail product packaging for any type of fresh specialty food, a longer shelf life can translate to less food waste. With modified atmosphere packaging, your specialty food item will stay fresh much longer than it would with conventional food packaging.

No matter what product you might have, Indepak can design custom retail product packaging that fits your needs and budget. We can design innovative packaging for office supplies, tools, beauty & cosmetic items, toys, batteries, specialty foods, electronics and much more. Our innovative design team is ready to help you at any time, so feel free to contact Indepak today.

Packaging Companies & Bioplastics: What You Need To Know

Bioplastics. Biodegradable. Eco-Friendly. We hear these words all the time from our customers seeking the most sustainable packaging solutions. During the last few decades, packaging companies have been able to offer more and more sustainable options and Indepak is no exception. Here are some facts that will help you better understand the types of eco-friendly options you have for your packaging.

Bioplastics: What Does It Mean?
Bioplastics, in a nutshell, are plastic that are created using renewable, bio-based materials, such as starch. Using bioplastics reduces the need for fossil fuels, which is the source of most non-bio-based plastics. These days, everyone is looking for ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and searching instead for renewable options.

Biodegradable/Compostable/Recyclable: What’s The Difference?
People often mistakenly believe that all bioplastics will biodegrade or are compostable, but this is not always the case. Bioplastics are plastics that are either produced using bio-based content or plastics that are biodegradable or both. In some cases, your bioplastic might feature bio-based content, but it doesn’t biodegrade. In some cases, a bioplastic might be compostable, but this also is not always the case. And, in some cases, a bioplastic is not recyclable.

Biodegradable plastics are those which, over a given period of time, will biodegrade. Often people believe that biodegradable plastics can be placed in landfills, where they will break down over time, but this is not the case. These plastics must be disposed of separately from regular landfill trash. Just like all other types of plastic, biodegradable plastic should not be placed in a regular trash bin.

Compostable plastics are similar to biodegradable plastics in that these materials also will not break down if simply placed in a landfill. These types of plastics need to be taken to proper composting facilities and there are commercial composting facilities all over the United States that can process these materials.

Recyclable plastics include a wide variety of options. In fact, virtually all of the materials we use are recyclable. By using materials such as PET and HDPE, which are accepted by virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States, you make it easy for your customers to simply toss plastic packaging into a recycling bin, where it can be reused to make something else.

Other Sustainable Options
Packaging companies can create many distinct types of packaging using bioplastics, compostable plastics, recyclable plastics and biodegradable plastics, but this is not the only way to improve sustainability.

For instance, at Indepak, we can create combination designs that include plastic and paper or pulp, to reduce the amount of plastic needed for each package. We also can create packaging using post-consumer grade materials, which is another sustainable option you might consider.

Our design team also works diligently to ensure that we use the smallest amount material necessary to surround and protect a product and that we waste as little material as possible during the creation process.

To create plastic packaging, large thin sheets of thermoform plastic are fed into thermoforming equipment. The machines transform these sheets of plastic into your packaging, and the excess plastic, or web, is trimmed away. Our goal is always to create a design that reduces the amount of “web” produced. Of course, any leftover materials are immediately recycled and transformed into something else.

If you are searching for packaging companies that can provide you with sustainable options, the team at Indepak is ready to help. We are a low-waste operation in every part of our company. We are an ISO-certified company and consistently go beyond ISO 14001 requirements to ensure that we minimize our impact on the environment.