Packaging Material Options
EasyPak is focused on providing superior packaging solutions that deliver quality, performance, and durability. EasyPak uses many different types of plastic materials in developing our packaging. Our food industry customers require food-safe plastics, such as PET general, HDPE, PP, and HIPS, that are strong, lightweight, and recyclable (varies per region).
We also offer eco-friendly alternatives, such as FDA PCR-APET (post-consumer recycled APET), as well as bio-based, and compostable material options. In addition to using reusable materials, EasyPak has developed sustainable manufacturing methods to reduce waste.
We’ve put together a guide to help our customers better understand the materials and terminology we use in our thermoformed plastic packaging products.
Materials Used at EasyPak
PET or PETE: Polyethylene Terephthalate
PET is the world’s preferred packaging material for foods and beverages. It is a clear, strong, and virtually shatterproof plastic that is best-known for its use in soft drinks, juice, and water bottles. It is popular for platter domes, confectionery trays, cake, and pie packages, and for sandwiches, salads, bakery, deli products, and produce. PET family consists of APET virgin sheet, RPET recycled, PCR recycled material. It is a very energy-efficient packaging material and is completely recyclable.
PP is found in flexible and rigid packaging. It is strong and has a high melting point, making it well-suited to hot-fill liquids and microwave applications. Popular packaging applications include yogurt, butter, takeout meals, and deli food containers. Polypropylene packaging is very versatile from freezer to microwave. Polypropylene is recyclable.
HDPE: High-Density Polyethylene
HDPE is commonly used in milk jugs, cleaning agents and shampoo bottles due to its chemical resistance. Its high tensile strength and excellent crack resistance make it the ideal material for extreme cold packaging applications. HDPE is recyclable.
LDPE: Low-Density Polyethylene
LDPE is mostly found in wrapper and bag applications. It is more flexible than HDPE but has lower tensile strength. Most shrink wraps and film seals are made from LDPE. LDPE has excellent chemical resistance.
PP-EVOH-PE: Barrier Structure PP/Barrier/Polyethylene Barrier Materials
PP-EVOH-PE and PET-EVOH-PE has some of the best barrier properties. It is best suited for food and drug packaging and other perishable items. EVOH (Ethylene-Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer) is ideal for modified atmosphere packaging. That is why it is layered with other materials like PP, PE, and HDPE for moisture protection.
HIPS: Hi-Impact Polystyrene
HIPS is rigid and versatile polymer material that is often used for shipping trays, retail shelf displays, and utility trays. Despite being strong, HIPS is recognized for its formability and can be molded to fit your unique products. HIPS an opaque material which can withstand heavy impact and is recyclable.
OPS: Oriented Polystyrene
OPS is essentially a stretched-out version of polystyrene film that has increased stiffness and reduced haziness which allows the product to be displayed more clearly. Typical uses are in the confectionery, cookies, and bakery trays.
Common Manufacturing & Packaging Terminology
Retort Sterilization: This food preservation method uses high temperatures to sterilize. It serves as an alternative to traditional canning methods. PP is the only material that can be retort processed.
HPP: High-pressure pasteurization is a food processing method that uses pressure and pure water to extend shelf life without the use of heat. The primary packaging material is PET.
MAP: Modified atmosphere packaging method of extending shelf life in packaged food products. MAP works by changing the atmosphere within the packaging to extend shelf life stability. It controls the balance of gases within the packaging. Ideal solution for MAP is our barrier trays.
Flash Freeze: freezing to very low temperatures very fast Frozen food packaging requires specific materials and expertise to ensure that the package will be able to sustain freezer temperatures and resist cracking. EasyPak has years of experience in designing packaging that involves freezer to microwave applications and can help you accomplish a successful launch of your latest frozen food line. HDPE and PP are the ideal packaging solution.
The EasyPak team has over 67 years of combined experience and extensive knowledge in the packaging industry, involving freezer-to-microwave applications, containers, and trays with lids or sections, as well as lidded packaging and barrier film applications.
We will walk you through the development process and create custom packaging that is designed to suit your requirements. Use our helpful Product Search tool or contact us online or call 855-297-7744 to discuss custom solutions.
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