About Plastic Resins for Packaging

The information provided below is intended to provide a relative comparison of plastic resins and should only be used as a guide during the selection process. It is not possible to determine if the containers we sell are suitable for your application based solely on the information below. Product compatibility testing is, and will always be, the final determining factor in the container selection process. It is the buyer's responsibility to make the final determination as to whether a given container, closure, and accessory are suitable for use in their application.

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: October 20, 2019

About Plastic Resins
                                                                           Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

PET is a durable material with excellent gloss, clarity, and impact resistance. These properties make it highly desirable for clear bottles and jars. PET and PETG containers are ideal for personal care, food, beverage, and pharmaceutical applications. When you want the appeal of glass combined with the safety, lightweight, and convenience of plastic, choose PET or PETG. If using PET plastic containers with flammable materials, it is possible that a spark could occur due to handling or the surrounding environment.

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Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Very similar to HDPE in composition, LDPE is less rigid and is generally less chemically resistant. LDPE, however, is more translucent and flexible than HDPE. LDPE is ideal for use with products requiring flexible and squeezable packaging, such as shampoo, conditioners, lotions, adhesives, and many others. LDPE bottles usually have a more shiny finish than comparable HDPE bottles.

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High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

The most widely used resin for extrusion blown plastic bottles, HDPE is economical, impact resistant, and provides a good moisture barrier. HDPE is best known for its naturally translucent appearance and flexibility. The addition of color will make HDPE opaque, but not glossy. It can handle a wide range of products including acid concentrates and some caustics, but is not compatible with solvents. It is usually available in FDA approved food grade material. HDPE offers good protection at below freezing temperatures, but cannot be used with products filled at over 180°F or products requiring a hermetic seal. If using HDPE plastic containers with flammable materials, it is possible that a spark could occur due to handling or the surrounding environment.

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PP is a naturally translucent material which provides an excellent moisture barrier. Polypropylene is very stable at high temperatures (up to 200°F), which allows it to be used in hot fill applications such as pancake syrup. In addition, it can preserve the freshness and flavor of dried foods, making it ideal for storing spices, dried fruit, or flour. Polypropylene is also autoclavable (can withstand a strong, pressurized, steam-heated vessel for the purpose of sterilization) and offers the potential for steam sterilization. PP has excellent chemical resistance, but provides poor impact resistance in frigid temperatures.

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Polystyrene (PS)

PS provides the crystal appearance and stiffness of glass. It also works well as an oxygen barrier to preserve freshness. Polystyrene, however, provides poor to moderate resistance to impact, temperature, and UV exposure.

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Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is naturally clear (can be hazy in thicker forms), has extremely good resistance to oils, and has very low oxygen transmission. It provides an excellent barrier to most gases and its drop impact resistance is also very good. This semi-rigid material resists chemicals, but can be compromised by solvents. Most PVC containers will distort at 160°F, making it incompatible with hot filled products. Since it provides a good oxygen barrier, PVC is a good choice for salad oil, mineral oil, and vinegar. It is also commonly used for shampoos and cosmetic products.

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Is it Sterile? If an item is sterile, it will be marked in the description. Otherwise you should clean the containers before use.

Is it FDA Approved? Most plastic is FDA approved. Products that are not FDA approved are tagged in the catalog.

Is it BPA Free? All plastic containers stocked are BPA free. Please contact Customer Care at 800.363.9822 if you wish to have documentation.

Is it Light Sensitive? Colored plastic reduces UV light up to 70% more than clear.

Is it Autoclavable? Polypropylene (PP) and Polycarbonate (PC) bottles and caps are autoclavable.

Is Fluorination Possible? All plastic is able to be fluorinated which provides longer shelf life and product consistency and integrity. Contact our Customer Care Advocates (800.363.9822) for pricing and minimums.

What about Custom Decorating Services? Create a signature look for your product and stand out from the competition with custom labeling or decorating. Learn more about our Custom Labeling and Decorating Services.

If you're looking for plastic packaging solutions for your business, request a packaging consultation today.