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.

Thermoform Molding: Understanding The Process

As the word “thermoform” might suggest, thermoform molding is a process by which heat is used to help form and mold various types of packaging and products. At Indepak, we have been providing thermoform molding services since 1967, and here’s a quick look at our process.

Obviously, it all begins with a customer and an idea. Each customer discusses their packaging needs with our design team which then gets to work on formulating a design and creating a prototype. Once this prototype has been approved, we get to move on to the production process, where the fun really begins.

During the design process, we create highly intricate molds of your packaging and these are what will be used to form your package. After molds have been created and our thermoforming equipment has been set for your project specifications, we will feed thin sheets of thermoform plastic into these machines. Our equipment can thermoform rigid materials from .008 inches to .080 inches and foam materials from 1/6 inches to ¼ inches.

Once sheets are fed into the thermoform molding equipment, they are heated to a specific temperature. The temperature we use depends upon the material being fed into the machine as different types of thermoform plastic require different levels of heat in order to reach a point of malleability. Once that temperature is reached, the plastic materials can be molded. Typically, either vacuum forming is used or pressure forming. Vacuum forming, as the name suggests uses the force of vacuum to remove the air between the plastic sheet and the mold. With pressure forming, you use the force of vacuum as well as applying extra force to “push” the plastic into the molds.

Vacuum forming is an excellent option if your package design is fairly simple and straightforward and quite cost-effective, especially for smaller production runs. Pressure forming is an option more suitable for more complex designs and larger production runs. We will come up with an option that fits your packaging needs, as well as your budget. Once the package or product has been formed, the plastic is cooled and any excess packaging is trimmed away. This excess plastic will be used for future projects, and it is always our goal at Indepak to recycle and reuse whatever we can.

What We Can Create
Our facility includes multiple lines of high-speed thermoform equipment allowing us to create packaging and products for a myriad of unique clients. We can design all sizes and shapes of blister packaging, including trap blisters, full card blisters and face seal blisters. We also can design all types of clamshell packaging, including tri-fold clamshells, which can be hung from pegs or can stand on shelves, providing you with ultimate flexibility. Additionally, we can provide you with any type of thermoform tray you might need as well as providing combination designs that incorporate plastic materials along with foil, paperboard and pulp. Our equipment can handle a wide range of materials, including some starch-based biomaterials, and virtually all of the materials we use at Indepak are recyclable.

Why Choose Thermoform Molding?
Thermoform molding is one of the most inexpensive options for custom packaging. Not only are the materials we use inexpensive, they also are highly protective and very lightweight. Thermoform plastics can protect your product from moisture, tampering and are quite impact resistant. Their light weight benefits the consumer as well as helping to reduce your shipping costs.

If you need custom plastic packaging, the team at Indepak has been using thermoform molding to create packaging for 50 years. Give us a call today and we will get started on your unique packaging project.

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.

Thermoform Plastic: 14 Items Made From Recycled Plastic

Recycle. Renew. Reuse. These are the three R’s of sustainability and it might surprise you to learn that this environmental mantra dates back to the early 1970s. The first Earth Day was held in April, 1970, and it was around this time that this phrase first was uttered. Here at Indepak, we work with one of the world’s most easily recyclable materials – thermoform plastics. Once it’s recycled, companies around the world can transform this used material into the following products.

1. New Packaging
Many of our clients ask us to make their packaging using recycled plastics, and this is often an excellent option. Post-consumer and pre-consumer plastics can be recycled to make many different types of packaging as well as thermoform trays.

2. Playground Equipment
In the past, playground equipment was crated out of metal and wood, which could rust and warp. Using recycled plastics, such as detergent containers or milk bottles, these materials can be transformed into slides, playhouses and much more.

3. Clothing
Did you know that just about one dozen plastic water bottles can be transformed into enough plastic fiber to make a t-shirt? If you think plastic clothing sounds odd, consider fabrics such as Nylon, Dacron and Spandex, all of which are synthetic fibers.

4. Furniture
Plastic lawn furniture, park benches, picnic tables and other pieces of furniture can be created using recycled thermoform plastic. In fact, there are several companies that specialize in creating attractive outdoor furniture from thermoform plastics such as HDPE milk jugs. Unlike wood, which can splinter and warp, and metal, which can rust, these plastic furnishings have a far longer life.

5. Tote Bags
There are several companies out there that transform plastic grocery bags and plastic bottles into cute re-usable totes and lunch bags.

6. Purses & Wallets
In addition to basic totes, several companies also create stylish purses and wallets using recycled thermoform plastic, such as plastic grocery bags.

7. Pens
If you head to an office supply store, you are sure to notice that some of the pens that you can buy are made out of recycled plastic bottles.

8. Sports Uniforms
Nike, which produces the uniforms for the United States’ national soccer team, created these uniforms using fibers from recycled plastic bottles. According to Nike, using these bottles has ensured that more than three million bottles were reused rather than ending up in landfills.

9. Toys
There are a few companies out there that are now producing toys using recycled milk jugs and other types of thermoform plastics.

10. Buckets
Several types of plastic can be recycled and then used to make all types and sizes of buckets, for holding paint, water and whatever else you might need to carry.

11. Carpeting
Many brands of carpet are created using plastic fibers, and there are some companies out there that are now using recycled thermoform plastic to create these fibers for both carpet and rugs.

12. Sleeping Bag Insulation
If you’ve ever camped out in cold weather, but stayed toasty warm in your sleeping bag, you may have thermoform plastic to thank for that good night’s sleep. While using synthetics to make sleeping bags is very common, several companies are now making sleeping bags with insulation made from recycled plastic.

13. Doormats
If you search for recycled doormats, you will find a variety of highly attractive mats that anyone would be happy to place at their front door to welcome guests. These mats are made from everything from old flip flops to plastic bottles.

14. Crafts
If you do a quick internet search, you can find hundreds of clever craft projects that help consumers reuse their thermoform plastics. We’ve seen everything from lamps to planters to bird feeders and much more.

These are just a few of the products that can be created using recycled thermoform plastics. If you do need thermoform plastic packaging, give us a call today. We have many sustainable options that might fit your needs and budget.

Thermoform Packaging: 4 Facts About HDPE

At Indepak, our thermoforming equipment is capable of processing a wide range of materials. If you are searching for a cost-effective, sustainable thermoform packaging, one material you might consider is high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. Here are a few helpful facts about HDPE and why it might be a good fit for your packaging needs.

1. HDPE Can Be Recycled
Many of our clients ask about sustainability as soon as we sit down and discuss a packaging project. We have many sustainable options, and this includes providing our clients with thermoform packaging materials that can be recycled. Most of the materials we use are recyclable and HDPE is no exception.

2. HDPE Is Easy To Recycle
Not only is HDPE recyclable, of all the many thermoform plastics available for packaging, HDPE is one of the easiest to recycle. Each plastic is designated with a special resin identification code, and HDPE’s code is the number two. You can find this code on plastic bottles and packages surrounded by a triangle. Virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States accept HDPE, making it easy for consumers to recycle by simply tossing a used HDPE package into their recycling bin. While most thermoform plastics can be recycled, HDPE and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are the two materials that are nearly always accepted at recycling centers.

3. HDPE Is Durable & Lightweight
One of the reasons why many of our customers select HDPE is the durability factor. HDPE is extremely impact-resistant, protecting your product if it is jostled around during transport or dropped off a shelf. For instance, HDPE is often used to make pipes because it is more durable than PVC and much lighter than concrete or metal pipes. Additionally, HDPE is moisture resistant and stain resistant, which also protects your products.

While HDPE is highly durable, it’s also very lightweight, which helps reduce your shipping and transportation costs. We can design HDPE packaging that fits around your product exactly with little extra material. This allows you to pack more units into each shipping box or container, further reduces your transportation and handling costs.

4. HDPE Can Be Used For Many Products
In addition to thermoform packaging and products such as food storage containers and plastic bottles, HDPE is used to create many other products. Plastic furniture and 3-D printer filament are two examples, and borated HDPE can be used in nuclear power plants, on nuclear submarines and in cancer treatment centers as it blocks harmful radiation. While your product probably doesn’t need thermoform packaging that can withstand nuclear radiation, this simply exemplifies the durability and chemical-resistance of HDPE. HDPE also has been approved by the FDA for direct-contact use with food products and beverages. For instance, plastic milk bottles often are crafted out of HDPE, as well as bottle caps for soda, water and other beverages.

While HDPE can be a good choice for some types of thermoform packaging, we also use many other materials, including PET, PETG, PVC, ABS and even starch-based bioplastics. Our team of designers will study your product carefully and determine which type of plastic best suits your needs and budget. If you are in the market for any type of thermoform packaging, contact us today and we will get started designing a custom packaging solution just for you.