Everything You Need to Know About the Manufacturing Process

« Back to Home

Which Plastics Are Commonly Used For Packaging?

Posted on

Because there are so many differently shaped objects that need to be packaged up for deliveries, a versatile material like plastic is widely used for the job. These days, a typical plastic packaging manufacturer will use a variety of different materials to make their packaging materials even more suited to the products they will contain. What are the main plastics in use today for packaging, and what are their principal benefits?

High-Density Polyethylene

This plastic is usually referred to simply as HDPE by plastic packaging manufacturers. It is highly versatile and can be used as a lightweight material that is used to package up industrial products as well as those that are destined for consumer retail situations. HDPE is widely used to hold liquids because it is strong and will not stress unduly under the weight of them. What's even better for fluid packaging is that it can form containers that are translucent. This means you can see how much liquid remains in a container easily. HDPE is also used to package food and to form an outer layer for the protection of cables.


This is a plastic that is turned into rigid packaging materials. A plastic packaging manufacturer that makes storage crates, for example, will often turn to this thermoplastic polymer because it is durable and can withstand a high degree of exposure to the elements. It will stand up to some UV degradation and so it is preferred for packaging that will be outside for any length of time.


Sometimes called styrofoam or PS, polystyrene is another incredibly light material that is often used for air freight when additional weight can lead to increased costs. In industrial packaging, polystyrene tends to be used in pellet form so that it can be poured around a product – or a number of products – inside another container, such as a cardboard box. This makes it great for handling awkward shapes. Many consumer electrical products that are sensitive to shocks and twists are also housed in polystyrene packaging, but in this case, it tends to be formed to meet their exact dimensions.

Polyethylene Terephthalate

Widely used in the food packaging industry, PET is great because it can be used to store microwavable foods since it can be placed directly into such devices. It is sometimes also formed into jars and products that would usually be stored in glassware. Whole chickens are often packaged in it because, in a wrap form, it is tough and also ovenproof.

To learn more about these materials, contact a plastic packaging manufacturer in your area.