In clear plastic box manufacturing, there are only a few main types of clear plastics utilized-which are then divided into many more classifications depending on their chemical composition and properties. One of the more common well-known examples is polystyrene. Packaging is one of the primary uses of polystyrene, but clear plastic box packaging can also come in a wide array of choices. It is important to know the difference between some of these polystyrenes, namely general-purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and high-impact polystyrene (HIPS). At Alpha Rho, we work with GPPS to manufacture our large assortment of rigid plastic boxes — some are standard and in stock, others can be custom-made to specification, providing the volume is large enough (100s of thousands of parts). To help you gain a better understanding of the different types of clear plastic custom boxes with lids that we manufacture, we’ve created this helpful guide below. Read along in chronological order or jump to the section(s) that interest you most.
- The Difference Between GPPS and HIPS
- Different Forms of GPPS Boxes
- How Alpha Rho Can Help with Your Rigid Packaging Needs
The Difference Between GPPS and HIPSGeneral purpose polystyrene (GPPS), also known as crystal-clear polystyrene, is fully transparent and rigid, and is widely used in food packaging applications or jewel cases. Back in the day, the most common application of GPPS was seen in the cases that enclosed CDs. Apart from being FDA compliant, it is also low-cost, X-ray resistant, free from odor and taste, and easy to process. As an added bonus, GPPS is also entirely recyclable. High impact polystyrene (HIPS), on the other hand, is impact resistant-at the cost of not being naturally clear or transparent. It can be easily painted on and glued, and can be used with heat shrink tape and other sealing methods quite easily. It is economical and easily molded, but it’s increased moisture absorption can limit its uses. HIPS has a matte finish and is a preferred material for thermoforming. A common application of HIPS is yogurt cups. While HIPS has higher impact strength, GPPS is better suited for storage and packaging purposes because of its transparency. GPPS can be molded into exciting shapes, such as that of a treasure chest or a heart to serve as candy boxes for gifting. Alpha Rho’s clear rigid plastic boxes are perfect for storage-enabling you to see the contents of the box through its high-gloss finish. Since GPPS is FDA compliant, it is completely safe to use our boxes for food storage. Because our food-related clients know our plastic containers for food are non-toxic, we have developed a strong, repeat client base of bakers, candy makers, and other creators of fine confectionery items. They also appreciate how our see through safe plastic food containers support sales of their products since prospective clients can see their enticing goodies through the clear plastic box top. Here are some of the benefits associated with GPPS plastic packaging:
- FDA compliant-non-toxic
- Good dimensional stability
- Low cost compared to other materials
- Easy to paint, glue, and print on
- Excellent aesthetic qualities
- Perfect for long-term use
Different Forms of GPPS BoxesGPPS boxes come in a variety of shapes and forms. Discussed below are a few of the common examples, and each of their specific benefits and design information. Learn how each of these dependable, plastic, packaging solutions are made. Hinged Lid Plastic Boxes Plastic boxes with hinged lids are ideal for storing important valuables (i.e. beads, jewelry, nuts, bolts, and other hardware) — helping ensure these essentials never get lost or misplaced. The hinged lid box design ensures that the lid is always connected to the box, so lids don’t get lost either. Items stored in clear plastic boxes with lids are far less likely to sustain damage from outside factors since the lid is secured and reverts to a closed position when not in use. Some hinged lid boxes also permit users the opportunity to secure them with small locks, which helps to further safeguard stored items. Another big benefit of a plastic box with hinged lid is not having to fumble with the lid in order to remove or secure it. With the hinged design, it literally just flips onto the box to close. All things considered, a plastic container with hinged lid (a flip top plastic box) is an incredibly user friendly and convenient packing solution. For the aforementioned reason, many refer to hinged lid plastic boxes as flip top boxes or as plastic containers with attached lids. Hinged plastic boxes are available in a great variety of shapes and sizes — their two-part construction allows for more creative freedom in design compared to its friction fit plastic box counterparts. This creative freedom also lends the hinged lid box to being highly customizable — contact us to see if we can meet your plastic storage box specifications. Friction Fit Boxes The construction of friction fit plastic boxes involves a separate/disconnected/detached cover and bottom. Each plastic box consists of two pieces, and is therefore, not a single “entity” (as is the case with the hinged box). Friction fit boxes are ideal for just about every type of application, although they typically don’t offer the added security benefit available with the hinged plastic box form. One disadvantage associated with this style of plastic boxes is that because the top and bottom are separate, matching pieces can be lost or misplaced over time. Despite this, there are also a few notable advantages worth mentioning about this style of plastic packaging:
- Because they don’t include a hinge, these boxes — whether they be small plastic boxes or large plastic containers — are usually more compact and easier to stack and organize — a helpful attribute when it comes to storage.
- Many consumers prefer the “sleeker” friction fit look, as some see the presence of hinges as unsightly, particularly when it comes to using a plastic container as a gift box to house a party favor.