Packaging is marketing. In fact, packaging has long been considered the one of the most important factors for the desirability of any commercial product.
It used to be simple enough. A few decades ago, plastics could easily get the job done. As a packaging material plastic which was cheap to manufacture and incredibly lightweight and elastic and can fit therefore be used for the packaging of virtually any product. Plastics were also easily compliant and can therefore be made air tight or thicker for added protection. However, it also had poor degradation properties that were environmentally hazardous and they were difficult to dispose without causing undue effects land, water or air. Metal on the other hand, which was commonly used for packaging foods such as canned goods, were found to have toxic properties. Paper and other by-products such cardboards became the norm since it was easily reusable, recyclable and disposable. Aside from being used in packaging boxes, it was used in a variety other marketing materials such as free standing display units or some standee in Singapore. Although for some time, wood or thin plywoods were used for free standing displays in Singapore, it became apparent that cardboard provided better flexibility and mobility since it was lightweight. Cardboards and other paper products were however significantly less durable than other materials.
The packaging scene has however improved by leaps and bounds with the development of technology. Today, a host of newer materials provide various options for a range of purposes. Although bubble-wraps, which are essentially also plastic materials continue to be popular, a newer variant, inflatable air bags or cushion bags that are made of fabric or plastic and which can be inflated to enclose and preserve a material, are more durable and provides additional cushioning. Inflatable air cushion in Singapore have a variety of shapes and designs but are commonly made out of two layers of polythene films with air valve film in between, and heat pressed with high temperature mold to melt them together and create air tubes and shapes.
For free standing displays or standee display utilities, standalone, off the shelf structures used to hold products like beverages, confectionery, bakery, fruits and vegetables, beauty products, household cleaning items, electronics and other consumer goods, lightweight metal-alloy have become popular substitute to stainless metal, cardboard and wood. Corrugated boards, a more environmentally viable version of traditional cardboards are solid board grades are also becoming popular for free standing displays since they can be easily designed using digital, flexographic or litho printing. This is ideal for standee displays which usually require high quality visuals.
Another shift in retail packaging has been the use of foam sheets for storage and transit of products and resealable food bags for individual packets. Compared to the use of traditional boxes, the use of foam sheets made from expanded polythylene or polyurethane (EPU) material and recyclable food bags are more cost-effective and flexible options for food packaging, moving and storing products. These foam sheets and bags generally protect products from physical damage and permeation caused by shocks, vibrations, compression, temperature and even bacteria. They are therefore ideal materials for food packaging and containment. Like traditional box carts, foam sheets reduce physical product damage but unlike traditional containment units, they reduces material usage since they can be cut into desired and precise sizes. As light weight material, it also has better storability.
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