Category Archives: Thermoform Packaging

Food Packaging: Facts About Modified Atmosphere Packaging

In ancient times, preserving food was highly difficult, but as the years progressed, food packaging has evolved, keeping foods fresh and safe for days, weeks and even months. We create many different types of food packaging here at Indepak, and one option to consider would be modified atmosphere packaging.

Modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP, is an excellent option for fresh foods. This includes items such as fresh meat and processed meat (lunch meat, hot dogs, bacon, etc.), cheeses, fresh pastas, seafood, microwavable meals (AKA – TV dinners), fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and more.

How It Works
Creating this type of food packaging is a sophisticated process that involves matching the specific food item to a particular gas or a combination of gases. These gases work to preserve the food and provide manufacturers and consumers with longer shelf lives. The gas mixture depends entirely on the type of food that is being packaged. For instance, the gases used to preserve fruits and vegetables differ from those used to preserve a steak or hamburger.

It might surprise you to learn that this is not a new process at all. We have been using gases to ripen fruit and adding gases, such as carbon monoxide to large food storage containers, since the early 1930s. This allowed foods to be shipped great distances without spoilage. Today, the MAP production process is much more sophisticated, and we use other gases than just CO2, such as oxygen and nitrogen.

MAP Vs. Air-Packed
Freshness can be doubled and in some cases tripled with the use of MAP for your food packaging. For instance, raw fish might last only two or three days when air-packed, but with MAP, this shelf life can extend to more than one week. For items such as hard cheeses, you can extend the shelf life from about three weeks with an air-packed wrap to as long as perhaps nine or 10 weeks with MAP. Delicate items such as salad greens can increase their shelf life from a mere four of five days up to as much as 10 days or longer with MAP.

Your MAP Options
When we design food packaging, we pay attention to a wide variety of factors. It all begins by selecting materials suitable for food contact, and then we look at factors such as sealing reliability, oxygen permeability and puncture resistance to name a few. Our thermoforming equipment can process a myriad of materials, including those typically used for MAP.

At Indepak, we can create any size or shape of custom thermoform tray suitable for modified atmosphere packaging. In some cases, a simple tray with one cavity is all that is needed, but other products, such as microwavable meals or perhaps fruit and vegetable trays might need multiple compartments to separate each food item.

If you are interested in any type of food packaging, including modified atmosphere packaging, contact us at Indepak today. Since 1967, we’ve been a leader in the creation of packaging for the specialty foods industry and we can design an innovative packaging solution that meets your needs and budget.

Common Types Of Medical Packaging

Every year, the demand for medical and pharmaceutical packaging increases significantly. But, unless you work in a medical or pharmaceutical-related profession, you might not have given a thought to the types of packaging needed by these industries. Here’s a quick look at just a few of the diverse types of medical packaging that can be created.

Blister Packaging
Pharmaceutical companies often need blister packaging. Typically, these packages will include multiple cavities where a single dose or multiple doses of a medication can be placed and then the thermoform plastic will be covered with a secure backing to keep the medications safe from moisture and tampering. Typically, the backing material will be foil, although sometimes, a combination of foil and paperboard are used.

Pharmacy Bottles
Have you ever wondered by pharmacy bottles tend to be amber in color? While many other thermoform plastics are clear, allowing consumers to see various retail products, pharmacy bottles have to be light-resistant, which is why they feature that distinct amber color. Pharmacy bottles, which often are made out of polypropylene, can feature child-resistant caps or easy-off caps, depending on what your pharmacy customers might need.

Individual-Wrap Packages
You often see these types of medical packages used to hold single-use items, such as a syringe or perhaps a tongue depressor and various sterile swabs. Surgical instruments also can be placed in individual-wrap packages to ensure their sterilization until use. These individual-wrap pouches often are created from a material known as Tyvek®, which was developed by DuPont, although other materials also can be considered for these single-use packages. While the pouches are very thin and lightweight, Tyvek® is quite durable and tear-resistant, making it an excellent choice to protect any item that must remain sterile until the package is opened.

Medical Trays
At Indepak, designing custom thermoform trays is one of our areas of specialization. We can design medical trays to hold equipment, surgical instruments, vials of medicine, syringes and much more. These trays will feature cavities to design to hold each item securely and exactly. After we deliver the trays to you, these can be filled and sealed to ensure safety.

Consumer Items
Of course, there are many types of medical-related packaging that is designed and sold directly to consumers. This includes those handy multi-compartment pill boxes that help use organize our daily medications as well as containers that hold items such as contact lenses and dental retainers or dentures. Many different types of thermoform plastic can be used to create these items, such as polypropylene and polyethylene.

Our Services
Every industry has unique packaging specifications, but medical and pharmaceutical companies must meet or exceed extremely rigorous standards. Ensuring the safety of medications and medical equipment is essential, and if you need medical packaging, the team at Indepak has decades of experience working with medical and pharmaceutical firms.

Our design and production teams can craft low-particulate packaging, for both non-sterile and downstream sterilization applications. We provide you with detailed record keeping with traceability down to the box level. If you need medical packaging, give us a call today.

Electronic Packaging: 5 Facts About Thermoform Packaging

When it comes to packaging, every industry has unique needs and the electronics industry is no exception. The team at Indepak has worked with many electronics firms throughout the years and we believe that thermoform plastics are the ideal option for those needing custom electronic packaging and there are several reasons why, including the following.

1. Thermoform Packaging Protects Your Product
At Indepak, we work with thin-gauge thermoform plastics, but it would be wrong to assume that just because we use thin sheets of plastic, your product won’t be well-protected. Many thermoform plastics are highly impact resistant and moisture resistant. In addition, we offer many sealing options, to further insure that your product won’t be affected by moisture or tampering.

2. Thermoform Plastics Keeps Static-Sensitive Products Safe
While keeping products safe from moisture, tampering and other types of damage is important, many electronic products have high static sensitivity. At Indepak, we work with a myriad of materials, from conductive to dissipative, to ensure that your static-sensitive products are well protected.

3. Thermoformed Foam Is An Option
Our facility includes multiple lines of high-speed thermoforming equipment, and these machines can process both thin-gauge thermoform plastics as well as thermoform foam. Foam packaging can be an excellent option for electronics because it is extremely protective and lightweight.

4. Thermoforming Packaging Is Versatile
Thermoform plastic is an ideal option because we can craft packaging that surrounds and protects your electronic parts or product exactly. For instance, you might consider having us design a thermoform tray with multiple cavities to hold individual components or parts. We also can create clamshells for each part and then package these clamshells in thermoform foam or a thermoform tray. These are just a few of the options that might be considered as we design your custom electronic packaging.

5. Thermoform Electronic Packaging Is Affordable
Everyone loves saving money, and using thermoform plastics or thermoformed foam can help you stay within your packaging budget. Thermoplastics are some of the most affordable packaging materials available, and thermoform plastics also save you money because of their light weight.

After all, lightweight packaging is cheaper to ship and shipping costs make up a huge portion of every manufacturer’s budget. Additionally, we can create packaging that perfect surrounds your product precisely, which eliminates packaging waste. You will be able to ship more units simply because we can create packaging that is as small as possible. Nearly all of the materials we use are recyclable, as well, so consumers should have no trouble recycling your packaging after they have purchased your product.

If you do need electronics packaging, give us a call today and we can get started creating a custom packaging solution for your unique electronic products.

6 Facts About Thermoform Trays

Everywhere you look, you are sure to find thermoform trays. Grocery stores, restaurants, doctor’s offices and retail stores use millions of trays throughout the year. At Indepak, creating thermoformed trays is a huge part of our business, and if you need quality thermoform trays, here’s a quick look at thermoform trays in general and what we can provide.

1. Thermoform Trays Protect Products
Thermoform plastics are so easy to mold and shape that you can create virtually any configuration needed for a thermoform tray. If your product has several parts, our trays will be designed to fit each piece exactly. Because the plastic trays can be formed to include specially designed cavities for each product part, you won’t need to use as much packaging to ensure that your product is protected.

2. We Create Trays For Many Industries
While some companies focus on specific industries, such as the food and beverage industry, our facility features a variety of thermoforming equipment. This allows us to meet the unique needs for a variety of industries. This includes the specialty foods industry, as well as the medical industry, electronics industry, agricultural industry and, of course, countless unique retail manufacturers. We can even create business-to-business tote trays for industrial purposes.

3. We Create Trays For Many Products
Thermoform trays are a perfect packaging solution for many products. Within the food industry, these trays can protect and display food items such as packages of candies, cookies or crackers, frozen dinners, and large deli platters. We also design all sorts of trays for restaurants, delis and grocers to help them serve, store and display their food items.

Within the medical and pharmaceutical industries, thermoform trays can be used to hold medical kits, vials of medicine and various sterile instruments. At Indepak, we produce low-particulate packaging for our medical and pharmaceutical clients, which is intended for non-sterile as well as downstream sterilization applications.

For retailers, we can create many different types of packaging. For instance, if you manufacture toys, we can design a thermoformed tray that holds several toys of varying sizes and shapes. This tray then can be placed into additional thermoplastic packaging to further protect the items and prevent tampering. We also can create packaging with trays for items such as tools, office supplies, cosmetics and beauty supplies, cleaning supplies, batteries, razors, headphones and any other product you might sell.

4. Combination Designs Are Common
Our thermoformed trays are often just one component in a packaging solution. For instance, we might design a thermoform tray with multiple cavities and once that tray has been filled with your product, place it into a custom designed clamshell or blister pack or perhaps a packaging design that includes a paperboard backing. We can create many types of combination designs, which might be just what you need.

5. A Wide Range Of Materials Can Be Used
Versatility is one of our strengths, and because we have multiple lines of thermoforming equipment, this allows us to use many thermoplastic materials. Some of the most commonly used thermoform plastics we use include PET, PETG, HDPE, ABS, PVC and PP. We also have some starch-based bio materials that we can use to create packaging and thermoformed trays. The type of plastic we use for your thermoform trays will depend on several factors, such as your budget and the type of product you create. Food products, for instance, can only be placed in packaging suitable for direct food contact. Static-sensitive products, such as electronics, also have unique packaging requirements.

If you need thermoformed trays or any type of packaging solution that includes thermoform trays, Indepak can help. Give us a call today to discuss your packaging needs. We have been a leader in the thermoforming industry since 1967, and look forward to finding an affordable, high-quality packaging solution that meets your needs.

Product Packaging: 4 Factors We Consider

When it comes to product packaging, we’ve had a lot of experience. In fact, we’ve spent the last 50 years providing customers with affordable, custom packaging. Our design team has worked with companies from virtually every industry to create innovative custom packaging. While the main purpose of any package is to hold a product, we understand there are many other factors that come into play, including the following.

1. Presentation
While there are many important aspects we consider during the creation of custom product packaging, an eye-catching design can make the difference between a consumer selecting your product in lieu of your competitor’s product. One benefit with thermoform plastics is that consumers easily can see your product, and we can display that product to its best advantage. Our team can create all types of thermoform plastic packaging, including clamshells, blisters, thermoform trays and containers with lids.

2. Protection
Thermoform plastics boast many properties that help to protect your product. For instance, many of the plastic materials we use are both shatterproof and impact-resistant. If your product is knocked off a shelf, the plastic product packaging will preserve your item far better than other types of packaging materials. Plastic product packaging also can be sealed to prevent moisture as well as tampering.

3. Cost-Containment
Keeping costs down is always a factor for any business, and using plastics for your product packaging is an ideal choice. Plastic materials are cost-effective for many reasons. In general, plastics are much more affordable than other types of packaging. As stated before, plastics protect your product, which reduces loss due to damage or theft. Plastics also are lightweight, which helps you reduce shipping costs. Because we can create smaller packages with plastic, this also allows you to ship more units per container, which further reduces your shipping and handling costs.

4. Sustainability
While the words plastic and sustainability might not seem like a natural match, virtually all of the materials we use at Indepak are recyclable. In some cases, we can create product packaging using post-consumer grade materials, starch-based bio plastics or perhaps a combination design that incorporates plastics with pulp or paperboard. Keep in mind, that the versatility of thermoforming allows us to create designs that use as small of an amount of materials as possible. We can create a blister pack or clamshell that surrounds your product precisely, eliminating the need for excessive packaging materials.

If you are in the market for product packaging, the team at Indepak is here to help. Contact us at any time and we can discuss your packaging needs. In addition to package design and product, we also offer package fulfilment services, inventory management and shipping services.

50 Plastic & Plastic Packaging Facts From Indepak

When we opened our doors back in 1967, the Beatles were singing about Sgt. Pepper, movie tickets cost $1.25 and the world’s first heart transplant operation was performed. While much has changed since during the last 50 years, our commitment to crafting the highest quality plastic packaging has remained the same. In honor of our 50th anniversary, we’d like to share 50 facts about plastic, plastic packaging and our services.

1. The First Manmade Plastics Were Bio-Based
We’ve been using natural plastics and rubber for hundreds of years, but the first official manmade plastic was introduced in the 1860s. Known as Parkesine and named for its inventor Alexander Parkes, this plastic was made from cellulose, a natural material.

2. Polyethylene Terephthalate Is The Most Widely Used Plastic
Polyethylene Terephthalate is a mouthful, so we just call it PET and this type of plastic is perhaps the most widely used thermoform plastic. You can create many types of plastic packaging with PET, and it is the source for most of the plastic water bottles we use.

3. PET Can Be A Fabric
While PET is an excellent option for many types of plastic packaging, it also is used to make fabric. We don’t call this fabric, PET fabric, it’s better known by the name polyester.

4. Each Plastic Has A Code
If you look on plastic packaging or plastic, you may see a triangle of arrows with a number inside. These numbers are known as resin identification codes, and they are put on packaging and bottles so that recycling centers can sort these materials. Currently, there are seven different resin codes for thermoform plastics.

5. PET Is Easy To Recycle
Of all the different thermoform plastics available, PET is one of the easiest for consumers to recycle. Its resin identification code is 1, and virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States accept PET.

6. High-Density Polyethylene Is Easy To Recycle
Along with PET, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is also one of the easiest plastic materials to recycle. HDPE features a resin code of 2, and most recycling programs also accept HDPE as well as PET.

7. Clamshells Are Blisters
You might read that statement several times and have no idea what we are talking about. Blisters are a common type of plastic packaging that we create, and these often have paperboard backings. However, a blister pack can be folded onto itself with a hinge at one end. When we do this, we call this package a clamshell.

8. Plastics Can Save Lives
Plastic stents are used during heart surgery to open up blockages in coronary arteries. In fact, some of these stents actually dissolve over time, helping improve the condition of a heart and then just disappearing.

9. Tennis Balls Are Plastic
It might surprise you to learn that tennis balls are made of PET, and often recycled PET that was once used for water bottles and milk jugs.

10. Golf Balls Are Plastic, Too
Plastic is stronger than you might think, and golf balls are certainly proof of that fact. These plastic balls can withstand the punishment of irons and woods repeatedly, with very little damage.

11. Thermoform Plastics & Thermoset Plastics
While these two “thermos” words might sound similar, they are quite different. Both are formed by heating up plastic, but thermoform plastics can be reused and recycled. Thermoset plastics cannot be recycled, but are useful for making car parts, computers and many other items.

12. Plastic Is Used As A Slang Term
The word plastic is commonly used in place of the words credit card or money, but it also can be used to describe a person who is shallow. The “shallow” usage sprang up during the 1960s, and was often used by the hippie and beatnik crowds.

13. PET Can Be Transformed Into Helpful Items
When PET is recycled, this thermoform plastic can be transformed into many helpful items, including upholstery, clothing, stuffed animals, toys, carpet and much more.

14. HDPE Also Can Be Transformed
As we stated before, PET and HDPE are accepted by most curbside recycling programs. When recycled, HDPE can be used to make plastic lumber, benches, liners for truck cargo bins and more.

15. PVC Was An Accident
Many substances were discovered accidently. PVC, which stands for polyvinyl chloride was discovered once in 1835 and then again in 1872, although neither of the chemists that discovered PVC utilized their discovery. It wasn’t until the 1920s that PVC became a commonly used plastic.

16. PVC Is Used For More Than Pipes
Most of us think about PVC as a material used to make water pipes, and this certainly is one application. However, it also can be used to make tents and tarps and different types of clothing.

17. You Can Visit “Plastic City”
Every city, no matter how large or small, tends to boast a nickname or two. Here in Portland, we are known as the City of Roses, and people visit here every year to enjoy the blooms at the International Rose Test Garden. However, if you were hoping to visit an official Plastic City, then you’d want to go a bit further east to Leominster, Massachusetts, which was well-known for its plastic industry.

18. There Once Was A Museum Dedicated To Plastic
If you wished to visit the National Plastics Hall of Fame, we are sorry to inform you that you have missed your chance. This hall of fame was an exhibit at the National Plastics Center & Museum located, not surprisingly, in Leominster, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, this fascinating museum closed its doors in 2008, but we can always hope for a reopening.

19. Tupperware Transformed The World
Well, maybe not the world, but definitely the ease of food storage. Tupperware was introduced shortly after World War II, providing housewives with an opportunity to store food safely and easily, as well as a great excuse to have a party. In fact, Tupperware is still mainly sold via Tupperware parties or through consultants.

20. Bubble Wrap Isn’t Just For Fun
We all know that Bubble Wrap wasn’t invented simply to provide children with hours of fun, the original purpose was to serve as packaging for some of the first computers way back in the early 1960s. Bubble Wrap is actually a brand name, but much like Kleenex and Band Aid, we tend to use the name generically, even though it is a trademarked term.

21. Plastic Flamingoes Are An Official Bird
Many cities and all of our states feature an official bird. In Portland, our official bird is the Great Blue Heron. In Madison, Wisconsin, the official city bird is the plastic flamingo. Apparently, this distinction derives from an incident that occurred in 1979, when a group of pranksters placed more than 1,000 of these plastic birds in front of the Dean’s Office at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

22. Teflon Was An Accident
Roy Plunkett was a legendary American chemist. During his time at DuPont, one of his tasks was to create a new type of Freon, which is a gas used for refrigeration. As he experimenting with various compounds, he accidently hit upon the formula for Teflon. This was not the first time, or the last, when a chemist searching for solutions to one problem, ended up finding solutions for another problem.

23. Plastics Protect Our Police & Soldiers
Kevlar, another item developed by the chemists at DuPont, was first used in the tires of racecars. However, it later was found to be an excellent synthetic fiber for the construction of body armor. Kevlar is used to create helmets and vests for soldiers and police as well as other protective clothing.

24. Recycling Saves Energy
Did you know that recycling just one plastic water bottle saves enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for more than five hours? While almost all of the materials we use are recyclable, our clients also can opt to use recycled materials for their thermoform plastic packaging.

25. We Use Many Types Of Plastic
At Indepak, we have a wide variety of thermoforming equipment which allows use to use many different types of thermoform plastics. Some of the plastics we use include HDPE, PET and PVC, which were mentioned earlier in this article. We also can use PP, ABS, HIPS, OPS and more.

26. We Use ABS Every Day
You could say that about a wide range of thermoform plastics, but if you work in an office and use a keyboard daily, chances are your keyboard is crafted from ABS, otherwise known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.

27. Many Kids Use ABS Every Day, Too
ABS is used for keyboards as well as those face plates we place over wall sockets. However, the younger set uses colorful ABS blocks, better known as LEGOs, to build all manners of structures.

28. Polystyrene & Styrofoam
We use polystyrene for many plastic packaging applications, and this thermoform plastic is sometimes confused with Styrofoam, due to the similarity of the name. Styrofoam is a trademarked name for polystyrene foam, and while we do produce products using foam materials, there are other “varieties” of polystyrene that don’t have a foamy texture.

29. HIPS Is A Versatile Type Of Polystyrene
We use HIPS (high impact polystyrene) to make a number of items every year. This particular variety of polystyrene has many advantages. For instance, it is FDA compliant, which makes it an option for food packaging. It offers good impact resistance, so it is highly protective. It also is quite affordable, and that’s always a good thing.

30. Understanding The “Poly” In Thermoform Plastics
All of these chemical names can be a bit confusing, and the word root “poly” shows up a great deal. A few examples include high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene and polystyrene and polypropylene and on and on. Poly is a root that means “many” and from a chemistry perspective, it has to do with polymers, which are substances formed by many long chains of molecules.

31. Yogurt, Margarine & The Polypropylene Connection
If you enjoy eating yogurt for breakfast or spreading margarine on a slice of toast, chances are you have come into contact with polypropylene. This thermoform plastic, also known as PP, is used to make many types of plastic packaging, especially for the food and pharmaceutical industries.

32. There Are Plastic Organizations
If you love plastics as much as we do, you might be interested to learn that there are quite a few organizations out there for those of us in the plastics trade. For instance, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) is an international group that was founded in 1942. The Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (MAPP) is another organization. These are just two of the many organizations that benefit those of us in the plastics industry.

33. There Are Periodicals About Plastic
Just about any industry has its shares of handy periodicals, such as magazines, and the plastics industry is no exception. For instance, Plastics Technology is a monthly magazine that provides technical information about thermoforming, injection molding and other plastics processing. This is just one of several periodicals that might be helpful and informative to someone in our industry.

34. Vinyl Records Are Plastic
The very first vinyl record made its debut in 1946, and these new records were crafted from polyvinyl chloride or PVC. Prior to that, records were made from shellac, which is a natural resin secreted by a type of bug.

35. Is It Nylon Or Duparooh?
Nylon, is a synthetic polymer that is used for everything from hosiery to toothbrushes. This was one of the many plastics invented by the chemists of DuPont, who tossed around quite a few names for this polymer before settling on nylon. One of the options was Duparooh, which, sadly, stood for “DuPont pulled a rabbit out of a hat.” In the end, we are certain that they made the right choice as Duparooh stockings just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

36. Silly Putty – A Toy With Military Applications?
During World War II, rubber was in such high demand, that this substance was rationed. Rubber was needed for tires for military trucks and aircraft as well as for boots for soldiers. The government paid for chemists and scientists to discover new types of synthetic rubber. It was out of these experiments that Silly Putty was discovered. While it wasn’t quite what was needed to replace natural rubber, it became a beloved children’s novelty that is still enjoyed today.

37. Is Plastic Greek?
If you’ve ever watched “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” then you know the main character’s father was fond of showcasing that every word has its roots in the Greek language. Plastic is no exception, as this word comes from the Greek word plastikos, which basically means something that can be molded or shape. We certainly do mold and shape large amounts of thermoform plastic every day here at Indepak.

38. We Use Special Machines Known As Thermoformers
Our thermoformers can accomplish amazing things. Each machine can take a thin sheet of plastic and transform it into perfectly shaped plastic packaging. You can watch some cool Kiefel thermoforming machines in action on YouTube videos, and we highly recommend taking a look.

39. Bioplastics Are A Sustainable Option
If you are searching for sustainable plastic packaging, we have many options for your consideration. Bioplastics are becoming all the rage and these plastics are created from renewable resources, typically some source of plant-based starch. There are also bio-based plastics which contain both renewable resources and synthetic plastics.

40. Plastic Resists Mold
One great reason to consider using thermoform plastics is that many of these materials are resistant to mold and fungi. You can preserve food from spoiling and protect products from damage using these certain types of mold-resistant plastic.

41. Plastic Is Collectible
As stated earlier in this article, there are thermoset plastics and thermoform plastics. One of the first thermoset plastics was known as Bakelite, and was used to create plates, radios, jewelry and toys among other things. Today, Bakelite items are highly collectible bits of memorabilia, and most Bakelite items were created from the 1920s to the 1940s.

42. Plastics Are Used For 3D Printing
The filaments that you use to create projects with 3D printers are all thermoform plastics. The most common materials used to make filaments are polylactic acid (PLA) and ABS (the plastic that is used for LEGOs).

43. Glue Is Now Horse-Free, But Not Plastic-Free
In the past, the connective tissues of animals such as horses, was an ingredient in school glue. Today, we use manmade polymers to create glue, specifically polyvinyl acetate. So, these days, no horses were harmed to make your second grader’s delightful art projects.

44. Portland Is A Leader In Recycling
Our fair city of Portland has long been a leader of environmentalism, and we take recycling very seriously. In fact, more than 70% of all recyclable materials in Portland are recycled and kept out of landfills. Only San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose have higher recycling rates. At Indepak, we are a low waste organization and we recycle everything we possibly can recycle.

45. Recycling Can Help You Earn Cash
Every time you purchase a plastic water bottle, you pay a deposit fee. This fee, usually five cents, is a small incentive to get you to recycle that bottle. While recycling one or two bottles might not seem like a great way to make money, if you collect all your bottles and cans and turn them into a recycling center, you can collect a good amount of money. In fact, one boy in Southern California has recycled more than 200,000 bottles and cans, raising more than $1,600 for charity.

46. There Are Packaging Awards
If you design plastic packaging, you can win awards for these designs. DuPont, for example, presents awards each year for manufacturers who have created especially innovative packaging designs. Everything from soda bottles to milk cartons to toothpaste containers can be judged and possibly win an award.

47. There Are Plastics On The Moon
During the course of space exploration, both Russia and United States left a variety of artificial objects on our moon. For instance, the lunar module for the Apollo 11 space mission used plastic film coated with aluminum to insulate the spacecraft. This lunar module, plastic and all, still rests peacefully in the Sea of Tranquility.

48. We Create Plastic Packaging & Products For Many Industries
Our long list of customers includes companies from the specialty food industry, the medical & pharmaceutical industry, the agricultural industry, the electronics industry and retail manufacturers just to name a few.

49. We Can Create All Types Of Plastic Packaging
The team at Indepak can create virtually any type of thermoform plastic packaging that you might need. This includes clamshells, blisters, multi-folds and thermoform trays for a wide range of industries.

50. Plastic Packaging With A Total Solution
In addition to designing and producing all types of plastic packaging, trays and other products using thermoform plastics, we also offer several additional services to provide each of our clients with a total solution. We can help you with sealing, fulfilment, inventory management and shipping. At Indepak, we’ve been creating quality plastic packaging for 50 years, and are looking forward to another 50 years (and beyond) of creating packaging for our clients.

6 Essential Custom Food Packaging Facts

If you are in the market for custom food packaging, thermoplastics can be one of your best options. Not only are many thermoplastics suitable for food storage, these materials are highly affordable as well. Read on to learn more about custom food packaging and your thermoplastic options.

1. Several Thermoplastics Are Safe For Food
When we create custom food packaging for our clients, we select thermoplastic materials that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for food contact. Some of our food-grade thermoplastic options include polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). We also have some starch-based biomaterials that might be suitable for use with some food products. Oriented Polystyrene (OPS) is yet another option to consider, and our design team will provide you with the best options to suit your needs.

2. There Are Many Types Of Food Packaging
Our facility is stocked with multiple lines of high-speed thermoforming equipment. This allows us to meet the needs of many different clients. For our specialty food customers, we can create custom clamshells, tubs, thermoform trays, containers with or without lids and much more.

3. Combination Designs Are An Option
In some cases, your best option is a design that incorporates more than one material. For instance, for a microwavable dinner, you might need a sealed thermoform tray with a cavity for each food item. From there, this meal will be packaged in a paperboard container. We often create thermoform trays that will later be placed into other pieces of packaging, such as trays that hold cookies or crackers or the aforementioned frozen meals. We can create custom trays with or without lids, depending on what you might need.

4. Thermoplastic Food Packaging Is Easy To Recycle
Virtually all of the materials we use at Indepak are recyclable, and our custom food packaging is no exception. In fact, thermoplastics such as PET and HDPE are two of the easiest materials to recycle, as most curbside recycling programs accept both of these materials.

5. Thermoplastics Provide Top Protection At A Reasonable Price
Thermoplastic food packaging is one of the most affordable options for specialty food companies, but it’s not just the price of the packaging materials that saves you money. Because thermoplastics are tamper-resistant and strong, your products are well protected and preserved, which means that fewer units can be damaged. Aluminum and glass can preserve food items, but these materials are more easily damaged.

Additionally, thermoplastics are lightweight, which lowers your shipping costs. Because we design packaging that fits around your food products perfectly, we can eliminate excess packaging, and this means more units can be shipped per box, which also lowers shipping costs.

Creating custom food packaging is one of our areas of expertise, and over the last 50 years, we have served hundreds of clients in the specialty foods industry. Our expert team of designers is ready to create any type of packaging you might need, so give us a call today and let’s get started on your custom food packaging project.

Customized Packaging: 4 Great Design Options

When we design customized packaging for our clients, we focus on many factors. For instance, we concentrate on creating a packaging design that protects your product and fits within your budget. But we also understand that the design must appeal to the consumer. There are many different types of customized packaging to consider, including the following.

1. Clamshells
Clamshells can be an excellent option for many products, and we create thousands of clamshells throughout the year. A clamshell features two halves connected by a hinge, and we can create virtually any size clamshell you might need.

For instance, small clamshells might be suitable for holding items such as nails, thumbtacks and other tiny items. Larger clamshells can be used to hold specialty foods, such as produce and baked goods, but also retail goods such as glue sticks, headphones, razors, computer cables and almost anything else you can imagine. We also can seal these clamshell packages for you using processes such as heat sealing and RF welding.

2. Blisters & Trap Blisters

Blisters are a very common option for retail customized packaging. A blister is similar to a clamshell, but it doesn’t feature a hinge. Instead we seal the two halves of the package together to form a tight bond that protects your product from moisture and tampering. This can be an excellent option for many retail products from toys to electronics to tools and much more. If you product includes multiple parts, we can design blister packs with cavities that fit each part perfectly, offering optimal protection.

Trap blisters are a type of blister pack that includes a paperboard backing and this can be an excellent option for your customized packaging. Using combination designs that include thermoplastic and paper or pulp are a very eco-friendly option, allowing you to reduce the amount of plastic you use while still protecting and displaying your product for consumers.

3. Thermoform Trays

Thermoform trays are an ideal option for many of our clients. For instance, we use these trays to hold items such as cookies, candy, crackers or frozen dinners for our many specialty food clients. For our medical clients, these trays can be used to hold various types of medical kits, with a specially designed cavity for each instrument or bottle of medicine. For retail clients, a tray can be created to hold all of the parts of your product, such as a dozen batteries or perhaps perfume bottles. Once the trays have been produced, these can be placed into other types of customized packaging, such as a sealed bag or perhaps a cardboard container or even a plastic blister or clamshell.

In addition to medical and food trays, our design and production teams are capable of creating a myriad of thermoform trays, including pick & place trays, shipping trays, part protection trays, dunnage trays, automation trays and more.

4. Tubs & Lids
Sometimes rather than opting for a clamshell, you might prefer to have us create tubs with removable lids. These can be used to hold many types of products, such as food items, but these tubs and lids might actually be the product you need rather than the container. For instance, perhaps you sell storage tubs with removable lids that are meant to hold a wide range of products. Not everything that we design is a package; we also create whole products and parts, so keep us in mind for your product needs as well as your custom packaging needs.

If you do need customized packaging for any type of retail or specialty food business, these are two of the areas in which we specialize. We also specialize in the design and production of custom packaging for electronics companies, industrial firms, pharmaceutical and medical companies and agricultural companies.

11 Products That Are Ideal For Plastic Clamshell Packaging

The title of this blog post is a bit misleading. While we have compiled a list of 11 amazing products that would be a perfect fit for plastic clamshell packaging, there are millions of products out there that would be a fantastic match for this package type. Over the years, we have designed plastic clamshells for a number of products and industries, including some of the following.

1. Fresh Fruit
We can create clamshell packaging to hold strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, individual apple packs, tomatoes, grapes, gooseberries (a favorite here in Oregon) and many other fruits.

2. Vegetables
A plastic clamshell can be used to hold those cute little mini bell peppers and mini cucumbers as well as lettuce, fennel, mushrooms (technically a fungus and not a vegetable), broccoli, cauliflower and so on.

3. Fresh Herbs

We can design special plastic clamshell suitable for preserving and displaying fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, or any herb not mentioned in a melancholy Simon and Garfunkel song.

4. Other Foods
Clamshells can be used to hold bakery goods such as cookies and brownies as well as deli items. You could place sandwiches, wraps, sushi, salads and much more in a lightweight, protective clamshell package. Additionally, egg cartons feature a clamshell design and can be made from thermoplastic, which can help protect these precious products.

5. Toys, Toys & More Toys
While the plastic clamshells that hold fruits, veggies and herbs are typically quite easy to pop open, we can ensure that your clamshell packaging is very secure. This is especially important with toys, as little hands often cannot resist trying to a get a toy out of the packaging. We can seal the package securely so that children can enjoy looking at the cars, action figures, dolls or tiny hand-held games that you produce without being able to tamper with the product.

6. Electronics & Electronic Accessories
At Indepak, we can design, produce and seal clamshells for products such as computer cables, headphones, flash drives, cellular phones, calculators, cordless phones, phone chargers and much more. If your product has multiple parts, we can design cavities that fit each item exactly, and we also can design clamshells for static-sensitive products.

7. Toiletries
If you sell toothpaste, toothbrushes or perhaps a plastic razor, we can create a clamshell for you. We also can create clamshells that hold make-up and beauty products, brushes and combs, lotions and skin care products just to name a few.

8. Tools
Whether you produce nails or screws or perhaps drills or screwdrivers, we can create a clamshell package that protects and displays your product. A few other tools that might be a good fit for plastic clamshell packaging include pocket knives and multi-tools, scissors, wrenches and pliers.

9. Batteries
Battery packs often are sold in blister packs with a thermoplastic cavity holding the batteries with a paperboard backing. However, using a plastic clamshell can make your battery packaging even more secure and we can create both types of packaging for batteries, depending on what you need.

9. Medicine Bottles
If you produce allergy pills, pain relivers, cold medicines or other over-the-counter medications, we can create a clamshell package that fits around your medication bottle or container. This significantly can reduce tampering and theft, while still allowing consumers to study your product carefully before making a purchase.

10. Baby Items
For companies that produce bottles or pacifiers, baby toothbrushes, teething rings or the thousands of other items needed by parents, a clamshell can be a great option, keeping items safe and secure while allowing consumers to be enticed by the design of your product.

11. Lightbulbs
In the past, lightbulbs tended to just be packaged in lightweight cardboard. However, thermoplastics can do a far superior job of protecting your product. We can create clamshell packing for a single bulb or perhaps a set of lightbulbs, with multiple cavities designed to hold and protect each individual bulb.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, as virtually any retail product can be stored in a plastic clamshell. No matter what type of product you might have, the team at Indepak can come up with a total packaging solution that fits your needs and budget. If you are ready to get started with your packaging project, give us a call or send us an email today.

6 Great Reasons To Choose Clamshell Packaging

We create all types of thermoplastic packaging and thermoplastic products at Indepak, and custom clamshell packaging is a popular option for many of our clients. The clamshell features a hinge at one end which allows it to open just like a clam mouth, which is where it gets its name. There are many great reasons to consider a clamshell as your packaging option, including the following:

1. Many Clamshell Options

There are several different types of clamshell, making this a highly versatile option. For instance, you could opt for a basic clamshell package which might be perfect for products such as bakery goods or fresh fruit or take-out containers.

A clamshell also can be designed to fit around your product exactly, such as a handheld drill or perhaps a stapler. We also can design a clamshell with several different cavities to hold a variety of products or product parts. For instance, maybe your company produces a toy set with many individual pieces. Your clamshell can hold each piece in a specially designed cavity. We can even design thermoform trays that are also clamshells. Often people believe that a thermoform tray must fit into some other type of packaging, but you can create a thermoform tray that is also a clamshell.

If you have a product that will be hung and displayed on a hook or perhaps a package that needs to be able to stand upright on a shelf, a tri-fold clamshell might be a good fit. These are clamshells including a triangular base instead of just a hinge, and your product can stand upright on this base.

2. Clamshells Are Tamper-Resistant

One of the best reasons to consider using a clamshell is the protection aspect. After all, how much money do you lose each year if your packaging can be tampered with easily? A heat-sealed clamshell can be quite difficult to open, making it much harder for shoplifters to simply remove your product from a store shelf.

3. Clamshells Are Moisture-Resistant

Many types of thermoplastic are mold-resistant and moisture-resistant, but when you select a heat-sealed clamshell, you further increase this protection. This seal will keep moisture away and protect your product, extending its shelf life.

4. Strong & Protective

While thermoplastic is lightweight, many types of thermoplastic are very strong and durable, which is another reason why they are an excellent packaging option. We can create clamshell packaging that truly preserves and protects your products. Many thermoplastics can stand up to the rigors of handling and shipping as well as being handled by consumers.

5. The Affordable Option

While tamper-proof and moisture-proof packaging saves you money, thermoplastic clamshells also save money because the materials we use to create these packages are so affordable. Thermoplastics are among the most affordable packaging materials and because they are so lightweight, you reduce your shipping and transportation costs as well. Every company is looking for ways to cut costs, and using thermoplastic clamshell packaging can help improve your company’s bottom line.

6. Show Off Your Product

One advantage that thermoplastic packaging has over other material options is that consumers get to take a look at your product before purchase. After all, your thermoplastic clamshell packaging will be clear, and consumers can get a sense of what they are purchasing. Unlike a blister pack, which might feature a cardboard backing, a clamshell can be clear on all sides, allowing consumers to examine every inch of the product to determine if it suits their needs. Consumer often are more likely to purchase a product that they actually can see over a product stuck in a box or some type of package that obscures the product.

We have produced custom clamshell packaging for hundreds of customers over the years, and can help you select the best type of packaging for your product needs. If you need a clamshell or any type of thermoplastic packaging, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send an email today.