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Rigid Plastic Packaging Versus Flexible Packaging

Select the Packaging that’s Best for Your Product and Your Bottom Line

rigid plastic packaging-vs-flexible packaging

Choosing the right packaging for your product means sifting through a wide variety of choices–what type of logo to use, what information to place on the label, and, perhaps most importantly, what style of packaging to pick. Flexible plastic packaging has recently gained a lot of attention as an alternative to rigid plastic packaging but both have their pros and cons, and ultimately there’s one clear winner based on what best suits your product and industry.

Rigid Plastic Boxes

The best choice for stacking and displaying, rigid plastic boxes support and protect the product inside. This style of packaging safeguards against issues like crushing, tearing, and leaking while still displaying their contents clearly. This means that when rigid packaging reaches stores or end users, they’re ready to be unwrapped and stocked and far less likely to be damaged in transit. Rigid plastic packaging can also be an effortless value-added benefit, giving end users sturdy storage options for the initial product or other belongings after the fact. While flexible packaging has been deemed to be more sustainable, the reusability of rigid packaging helps eliminate waste. In some cases, rigid plastic boxes can also be designed as part of the end product, such as a display stand or as a measuring cup for products that require mixing before use.

If your packaging needs to communicate essential information to the end users about your product, rigid plastic packaging doesn’t get thrown away, allowing important information, such as ingredients, usage, and expiration dates to remain available for easy reference.

Flexible Plastic Packaging

While more of an “option B” for durable products and some consumables, flexible plastic packaging is a good choice for one-use items, products packaged in liquid, and “messy” products that would otherwise require rinsing out a rigid plastic container. Flexible packaging is easier to recycle, making it more environmental friendly. However, alternatives to flexible plastic containers are typically considered when products are being shipped on pallets, as the thinner sides of flexible plastic packages are more prone to punctures and tearing. Without predictable shapes–flexible plastic containers are often hard to uniformly stack–it can be difficult to take visual inventory of products, as well.

So Which Packaging Should You Choose?

The answer to this question depends on a lot of different factors such as –

  1. The state of matter your products are in–solid, liquid, gaseous, or viscous
  2. The nature of your products in terms of durability, perishability, and/or any other special storage requirements
  3. Shipping logistics and mode of transportation
  4. Display arrangement at retail outlets
  5. The importance of product visibility through its packaging
  6. Budget set aside for packaging

Most manufacturers and distributors prefer to go the rigid plastic route. Flexible plastic packages often require special sealing and measuring equipment to prevent overfilling and bursting, they are harder to stack, and they’re also more likely to leak and puncture in warehousing and shipping situations. If your current packaging method is causing the same headaches, find the right rigid plastic package options for your products: the choice will pay off in reduced product damage issues, more accurate stocking and inventory, and more predictable display options. These types of packages also give your product a more premium feel, catching consumer eyes and bumping up your sales numbers over time.

As the largest manufacturer of high quality rigid plastic boxes in New England, Alpha Rho has been a leading supplier of injection-molded plastic boxes, with a reputation for providing dependable plastic packaging solutions for over 50 years. Our custom rigid plastic boxes— compartment, hinged, friction fit, custom shapes, are used extensively in multiple industries, such as retail and hobby, food and confectionary, medical, and industrial.

If you’re having trouble deciding, contact us for recommendations, orders, and assistance finding the perfect look and fit for your products. 

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