?What is the Flexible packaging

What is flexible packaging? In the rigid packaging article, we discussed the types of available structures in the packaging industry. In the mentioned section, we indicated that there are two types of structures in the packaging industry (Rigid packaging and Flexible packaging). In this article, we are going to be familiar with the flexible packaging, discuss its advantages, disadvantages and application. Stay with Karya Polymer to learn more about this type of packaging.

What is flexible packaging?

What is flexible packaging? Flexible packaging is a type of packaging that can be easily shaped and changed. Unlike rigid packaging, this type of packaging is made from less raw materials. Flexible packaging is a light and compact form of protection that is used for a wide variety of items and products that are usually disposable and do not require resealing.
Flexible packaging is usually lightweight bags that are closed and sealed using heat or pressure. This type of packaging can be easily modified and customized and has minimal protection against compression and puncture.

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Today, a wide variety of this packaging is used for marketing. Flexible packaging offers packaging solutions that are durable and cost effective. This type of packaging structure has a lot of visual appeal, which increases the chances of the product being seen on store shelves.

Flexible packaging has gained much attention in the last 5 to 10 years due to its lower cost and environmental effect. Statistics show that the use of rigid packaging will exceed 800 billion dollars by 2024 according to the growth of consumer needs and the increase in the purchasing power of the global market. Meanwhile, the nascent flexible packaging market will reach $299 billion by 2024 with a growth rate of 3.95%. This number is expressed if the desire of brand owners to reduce production costs is still turning to flexible packaging.

Types of flexible packaging materials

Aseptic bags can be considered as a type of flexible packaging which are made of several layers of plastic, paper and aluminum foil.

The flexible packaging structure may consist of paper, foil, polymer films, or a combination of these. Rolls, labels, wrappers and shrings are also part of the flexible packaging category.

Stretch wrap, which is used to store boxes in a pallet, is also included in the flexible packaging structure. This type of overlay is used to place objects next to each other. It prevents movement during transportation and protects the product from scratching.

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Multi-layer packages and films is widely used part in flexible packaging. Flexible packages include inner and outer wrappers and bags and envelopes.

Inner wrappers are often a simple sheet that is wrapped around a product and its top and bottom are sealed and closed. Packaging of candy or bread packages is in this category. Outer wrappers are often wrapped around a primary package, such as a box, to prevent air and moisture exchange between the contents and the outside environment such as yellow paper on cigarette packets or tea boxes.

The second group of flexible packages includes all kinds of envelopes and bags, which are made of different types of paper, cartoon and polymer films, based on the type of content and desired dimensions.

Some common examples of flexible packaging include:

  • Vacuum bags
  • Paper bags
  • Packaging made of foil and polymer film to protect coffee quality
  • Plastic bags used for chips and other snacks
  • Bubble wrap or shirring to protect fragile items
?What is the Flexible packaging

Advantages and disadvantages of flexible packaging

Flexible packaging, like rigid packaging, has advantages and disadvantages due to its nature and characteristics that can convince brand owners to use or refuse to use this type of packaging.

Advantages of flexible packaging:

Some important benefits of flexible packaging can be summarized as below:

  • Space Saving

Flexible packaging is usually thinner, more compact and lighter than rigid packaging. This saves space and lower storage problems.

  • Convenience in transportation

Transportation is easier due to the low weight and higher flexibility of this type of packaging.

  • Cost effectiveness

Flexible packaging is more economical than rigid packaging due to less raw materials used, lighter weight and less space occupied.

  • More environmentally friendly

Flexible packaging takes up less space in the landfill than rigid packaging.

  • High marketing potential

Flexible packaging is more interesting in terms of marketing due to the high variety in customization and more flexibility in printing and design.

  • Easy to use

This type of packaging is easy to open and often has an easy-to-open feature.

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Disadvantages of flexible packaging

Some of the disadvantages of flexible packaging are as follows:

  • Less protection

Flexible packaging provides less resistance and protection against punctures, heat, light, odors and more due to thinner materials.

  • The possibility of affecting the taste

Some flexible packaging containers may affect the taste of food or liquid contents.

  • Hard to recycle

Harder recycling due to lack of necessary infrastructure

Which type of packaging should you choose?

In the following table, there is a comparison between rigid and flexible packaging that can help brand owners to choose the type of packaging they want.

Flexible packaging Rigid packaging
More flexibility

A thin layer of protection

Strong and durable

It does not break or bend

Plastic bags

Heat shrink packaging

Stretchable polymer films

Cartoon boxes

Glass bottles

|Plastic bottles

Common examples
Light and compact

Cost effective

High potential in marketing

Easier transportation

More protection

Inducing the luxury of the product

Less protection Need more space

More expensive

It requires less space in transportation and landfill

Requires less energy for production

To reduce waste, increase useful life

It is widely recycled

Environmental sustainability

Novel approach of the flexible packaging industry

In the article related What is flexible packaging?, we discussed the new methods of the packaging industry, and to controlling the atmosphere inside the package was proposed as an approach to preserve the product.

The advanced technologies mentioned in the flexible packaging have received more attention due to the novelty of flexible packaging.

One of these methods is the use of vacuum bags, which is a subcategory of flexible packaging. This method focuses on controlling the atmosphere inside the package and minimizes the possibility of growth and life of environmental and external factors inside the package. Also, the rate of occurrence of chemical and biological reactions is minimized by not providing the requirements for the continuation of chemical reactions in the product

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