Packaging is necessary for a variety of products and plays an essential role in marketing, transportation, and protection of goods. Packaging materials take many forms and vary depending on product and intended purpose of package. In some cases, several materials are used in combination to achieve desired results.
Paper and cardboard make up bulk of packaging materials. Corrugated cardboard is used to form boxes and cartons for safe transport, while non-corrugated cardboard is an economical option for thinner packaging. Paper is used in bags and wrapping paper, often combined with other materials to provide a more attractive and stronger package.
Plastic is another common packaging material, available in a variety of forms. Rigid plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene are lightweight yet strong, making them ideal for consumer packaging. Flexible materials such as polyester and polyethylene film are often used for bags and wraps. Innovative plastic packaging also includes temperature-resistant forms and oxygen- and moisture-barrier materials.
Metal is also used in a variety of packaging applications. Cans and bottles are examples of metal packaging, and many food products are packaged in metal containers, particularly for longer shelf life. Aluminum is a light and recyclable material, making it an ideal choice for several packaging applications.
Glass and ceramics are also popular packaging materials, particularly in food and beverage industries. Glass jars and bottles are often used, while ceramic containers are often used for more expensive food items. This packaging material can also be used to make decorative items, such as bottles and containers.
Biodegradable materials are also increasingly used in packaging, particularly in food and beverage industries. Compostable materials, such as plant-based packaging, are becoming more widely adopted. This type of packaging is environmentally friendly and cost-effective, but may not be suitable for all applications.
Packaging materials vary depending on product and purpose of package. However, most common materials are paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, ceramics and biodegradable materials. Innovative solutions are also being developed to reduce waste and carbon emissions, while providing necessary protection and marketing appeal.