Flexible packaging is when a package or a container is made with a type of material that will yield easily when it is filled with the contents. Even after closing it can change shape. Flexible packaging can be made of paper, plastic, film, foil or a combination of two or more of these. The types of things that are made include but are not limited to: roll stock, pouches, labels, lids, shrink sleeves and stretchy film. Many times food processing equipment and sensors and controls as well as many other types of products can be wrapped in flexible packaging before they are boxed up in order to protect small moving parts. It is preferable to rigid packaging because this type doesn’t ensure all the pieces stay together. For example, if you are trying to box up sensors and controls in packaging that has a defined shape, they may end up all over the place when they are supposed to be in a set formation. Here are some other benefits to flexible packaging:
One of the biggest reasons for making flexible packaging is because consumers and sellers really want it! Consumers demand it because usually these containers are reusable, convenient and portable for easy packing and storing. It saves space in pantries, fridges and lunch bags. Retailers prefer using this type of packaging because it’s easier to store on shelves and allows for a more creative take on the type of displays that are done around the store. It stands out from the crowd when it’s on a shelf and can be eye catching due to the bright colors and way the packaging is manufactured.
The packages are very sturdy and can last a long time. They are made to be used again and again without losing the integrity of the material. Reusable flexible packaging can even be washed although rinsing by hand is better as putting it in the dishwasher may not get it properly clean. However, if you are using the flexible packaging for things like sensors and controls or other software, even if you do a good job of cleaning the packaging, it is not recommended to then store food in the same package. There is a chance the electrical dust or other chemicals could get into the packaging itself and not be able to be cleaned out entirely. When reusing flexible packaging, it’s better to keep similar products as the previous time in them. Also, if you are putting raw meat in them, you’ll want to make sure that you soak the bags in hot, soapy water to make sure there is no unwanted bacteria left behind.
Most of the flexible packages can be resealed or have the caps screwed back on so that it makes it very easy to transport. For example, baby food squeezable pouches have lids so that if your child does not eat the entire pouch in one go, you can close it up and throw in the diaper bag and bring it with you while you run your errands. They don’t take up a lot of room in the bag and stay closed so that the food doesn’t get everywhere.
This material can literally be used for almost anything; we’ve covered baby food, sensors and controls, raw meat, shipping packages and there are so many more ways that it can be used. The versatility of this type of material makes it very attractive to consumers and retailers alike. The fact that there are many uses for the material makes it environmentally friendly and buying one package or roll of flexible material can cover a whole list of household items that it can be used for making it very cost efficient. It’s not expensive to make or sell and thus not very pricey to buy either which consumers definitely appreciate.
The jump from rigid to flexible packaging was definitely a good step in technology. It has made things a lot more convenient and approachable for everyone. There’s no one that has not used some sort of flexible packaging at some point or another and most of you probably have some in your house right now.