Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

For good reason, retailers and companies are increasingly concerned with the re-usability of packaging. Using materials that can be recycled and reused is not only good for the environment, but a selling point to eco-conscious customers. Recycling thermoformed packaging is one reason Sunrise Packaging loves promoting our thermoforming processes, but not the only one.

We turned to the current industry analysis and trends on industrial thermoform packaging material market to find out why this style of customized inserts and packaging is rapidly increasing in popularity.

Reasons to Love Recycling Thermoformed Packaging

It’s good for the globe.

Recycling plastic leads to a robust second life for a variety of products (see what kinds of plastics can be recycled). With the majority of thermoformed materials meeting the requirements for recycling initiatives, it allows consumers to buy with confidence. On a grander scale, it reduces greenhouse gasses and pollution, as well as the waste filling up dumps and natural environments. 

It’s good for the consumer.

And in more ways than you might think. It takes less energy to make products from recycled plastic than it does using virgin materials. It saves on oil, which in turn makes more oil available for heating homes and other uses. That’s just one example of how recycling thermoformed packaging helps the collective and not just individuals.

It’s good for your organization.

Thermoforming has a lot of advantages. It’s ligthweight but solid. It’s environmentally-friendly while providing stiff storage for products. Additionally, more and more products require the versatility offered by custom plastic packaging. Wood and glass can’t promise a moisture-free, odor-free environment that also blocks light. Oh, and while keeping weight and shipping costs down. 

Upcycling For The Greater Good

Upcycling‘ is becoming an increasingly popular term to further clarify recycling. It means taking a product and reusing it for a new purpose. But in such a way that creates a product of higher quality or value. It’s not exactly a new idea–there must have been some inventive upcycling going on through the Great Depression, right?–but it’s gained traction in our eco-friendly society. 

Choosing packaging that can be re-purposed is more than just a fiscal decision. As people become more educated about making choices, trends show that the demand for recyclable packaging will grow. Get ahead of the game by working with Sunrise Packaging to create recyclable thermoformed packaging!

Custom Blister Packaging Gets Smart

It’s not enough for custom blister packaging to provide security, support visual elements, and address security concerns. It has to be smart, too. 

To be fair, this idea of ‘smart packaging’ has been around for a while. It evolved out of ‘active packaging.’ Active packaging simply refers to some kind of function beyond containment of a product. Something as simple as an expiration date meets this criteria. As technology embeds itself further and further into the fabric of our lives, from smartphones to AI systems, this expectation of engagement extends to packaging. Intelligent or smart packaging refers to some method of information transfer between users and packaging. 

You’ve probably heard the word ‘smart’ appended to other things. Smart phones, most commonly, but also smart houses, smart cars, etc. When it comes to packaging, it has just as many possible variants. Moisture control. RFID tags. Oxygen control. The list goes on. But when we talk about custom blister packaging, there are some interesting immediate applications we’re seeing in the real world. 

Custom Blister Packaging for PharmaceuticalsThermoformed blister packaging

IMC is one company leading the way when it comes to smart packaging, specializing in pharmaceuticals. These kinds of specialized packages need to combine branding and functionality seamlessly. Custom blister packs meet the bill. 

Blister packs allow custom-fit cavities to adhere to a cardboard or other sturdy packing. It allows users to see the product while giving package designers some leeway with the hard backing. And this is what draws IMC to custom blister packs. While traditional pill bottles–even with smart bottle caps–the space to embed electronics or other elements necessary for smart packaging is limited or non-existent. With blister packaging, it’s easy to encase something in the backing. Whether it’s an electronic designed to monitor dosage or help users with the product, it offers a different kind of experience. 

One of the more practical reasons for this kind of smart packaging is that adherence to prescribed routines is a major issue for patients and doctors. HealthPrize Technologies estimated in 2016  that such non-adherence lead to $637 billion losses in treatment for chronic conditions. Adding functionality that can, for example, remind users when to take their medication could lead to a decrease in  major medical events. 

Custom Forming & Smart Packaging

Thermoforming in any incarnation–trays, blister packs, or clamshells–can work with the demands of smart packaging. Easy to customize for any product, all of them offer a high degree of branding and functionality. Contact a representative today to learn more!

Flip Lid Packaging Options

The flip lid is a great option for packaging for a couple reasons.

First of all, as packaging accessibility becomes more important, the flip lid is easy to open. We’ve written in other posts about the effect of the aging baby boomer population on the packaging industry. Nearly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 everyday; they have a massive amount of economic influence.  You might have already noticed increased accessibility elements on products. Pop tabs on cans, larger type and simplistic design elements on packaging to reduce visual clutter, and closures that simply take less effort to open. As we age, we tend to lose strength in our hands (a cumulative effect). A flip lid takes minimal pressure and exertion. 

Secondly, flip lid boxes create literal stages for products. They’re perfect for presentation packaging, particularly with magnet closure (like our Netbox style) and some other select finishing designs that complement the product and package as a whole.  Imagine you’re the customer. You have a gorgeous box in front of you, waiting to be opened. You slip your fingers under the lid, popping it open, and inside are the perfectly-arrayed products with accouterments.

Whether you’re looking to make an impact with a marketing kit, sales presentation or an influencer box, get creative with the lid. Here are some types of packaging we recommend. 

Types of Packaging Featuring a Flip Lid

luxury brand packaging with flip lid

Cigar Boxes

Cigar boxes are one of the most popular styles of boxes with a lid to flip open. Some organizations choose to magnetize a flap for extra security, or some extra element of closure depending on the product. In the example to the right, the luxury packaging displays a high-end product in all its glory. The packaging doesn’t detract from the product, but rather adds to it. Like we said above, it gives it center stage. 

Custom cigar boxes can be customized further with inserts, like thermoformed trays or die cut foam. Foil stamping, embossing, and more can further dazzle customers. 

thermoformed clamshell, custom box design, custom thermoformed tray, manufacturing, Products, retail display box, thermoforming, Thermoplastic Materials with flip lid

Thermoformed Clamshells

Depending on what you need to house with your packaging, custom thermoformed clamshells might be ideal. Hinged plastic clamshells add a layer of security in a couple ways. First, simply by protecting products with a bit of cushion, which might be helpful in transit. Additionally, if your product is sitting on a store shelf, it can deter shoplifters. Or those who want a closer look (and don’t really care about destroying packaging to do it). 

Plastic clam shells are made-to-order, ensuring a perfect fit for your product and accompanying materials. They’re frequently used for medical packaging due to the easy-open nature of the flip lid, but can be found in nearly any industry. 

Your Customers Will Flip For Flip Lids

(Okay, we know that was terrible, but some puns are just unavoidable, you know?)

Contact Sunrise Packaging today to discover more innovative ways to meet your packaging needs!

Bespoke Boxes

Creating packaging isn’t so different from creating clothing. Both industries are subject to fashion and fads, with new trends drifting in and out. We watch things that were old become new again, things that were passe become trendy with enough time. Whether we’re talking tailoring or bespoke boxes, some features are just continuous classics. 

The word “bespoke” has a history tied to London, England. In the 16th century, “bespeak” meaning to order or arrange in advance. That evolved to refer to clothing or other things that a customer orders before creation. Traditional techniques are still in use on Savile Row, where making clothes is still seen as an art and not a science. 

Automation is increasingly a larger part of any enterprise, and custom boxes are no exception. However, while the manual parts of the process are less, well, manual, the artistry still exists. It takes time to craft truly bespoke boxes. Here are some examples: 

21st Century Bespoke Boxes

Custom magnetic boxesbespoke boxes

Sunrise Packaging’s Netbox, or customized magnetic boxes, reflect a true packaging classic: the cigar box. With an overlapping hard cover, magnetized for closure, ‘t’s ready for customization in any number of ways. These boxes are perpetually striking and can be further personalized through embossing, foil stamping, screen printing, and more. 

Prince Two Piece Setup Box and bespoke boxesTwo piece setup boxes

As a Minnesota-based company, we can’t have a post tying fashion to bespoke boxes without using a Prince example! This box to the left is an example of a two piece setup box.  They’re popular for luxury packaging, game boxes, and gift packaging. The turned edge corners ensure perfect fit from top to bottom. The strong chipboard can be wrapped in material that appeals to the senses, from a soft touch to glossier finish. Whatever you want to convey with your packaging can be done. 

ThermoformingThermoformend trays for the health and beauty products.

Thermoforming is truly one of the best ways to create bespoke boxes or custom packaging. Plastic molds are created to the exact specifications of your product(s) to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. It adds layers of protection and security to boot. Sunrise can create the perfect tray, clamshell, or blister pack to meet your requirements. 

Where Past Meets Present

As you can see, bespoke boxes and customized packaging take what’s best from the past and make it better with the present. Cigar boxes are a timeless style, but thermoforming ensures that the products inside are safe and secure. Using innovative practices paired with a respect for the past, Minnesota custom box creator Sunrise is ready for any challenge you can bring to us.

Contact our reps today to get started!

Custom Thermoforming Materials

Custom thermoforming serves a variety of industries. Its versatility is due to the process, which can work with a variety of plastics. Focusing on molding heated plastic, thermoforming is a growing industry serving many other industries, from healthcare to technology. Packaging systems can communicate value to customers. Custom thermoforming is an ideal solution that protects and organizes materials, creating a great experience for users. The aeasthetics don’t stop there, with a variety of plastics used for thermoforming.

These plastic thermoforming materials each have their own qualities and benefits.  Here’s a rundown of some of the materials with which we work at Sunrise Packaging (Blaine, Minnesota). 

Custom Thermoforming Materials & Properties

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)Thermoformend trays for the health and beauty products.

PET is a super-clear material, affording customers a great view of a product (we love it for custom vacuum-forming in retail packaging). Another reason why it’s popular? It’s easily recyclable. 

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC is one of the strongest custom thermoforming materials, but just as malleable as any other. PVC is versatile in other ways as well. It can be translucent or colored, opaque or clear. It’s also recyclable, of course. 

 PETG (modified Polythylene Terephthalate)

PETG is a modified version of PET that turns it it into a cross between PET and PVC.  It has a lower melting point than PET, and retains the strength and versatility of PVC. 

RPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Noticing a trend? PET is a popular base for custom thermoforming. This version–RPET–is made from recycled PET. It’s slightly weaker than standard PET, though. 

PS (Polystyrene)

Polystyrene is among the hardest and stiffest custom thermoforming materials. It’s a popular option for anything that needs to be punched or cut (think CD cases, smoke detectors, etc). 

Custom Thermoforming Applications

These different materials each have slightly different benefits and uses. Depending on what you need from your packaging, Sunrise can recommend the perfect solution.  Contact us today to learn more!

Thermoformed Clamshell Packaging for Health & Beauty

It’s tough work to meet the various packaging requirements for the health and beauty industry, but thermoformed clamshell packaging is almost like a silver bullet. 

Let’s back up a bit. 

Both industries are pretty heavily regulated (yup, make-up packaging is regulated, too…and with good reason). Outside of the product itself, the packaging must meet certain requirements as well. The products cannot be ‘adulterated or misbranded.’ This means that they have to be safe for consumers according to the labeling. Depending on the product, this could vary widely. Depending on the FDA classifications, it might surprise you to learn what’s considered a cosmetic, a drug, a medical device, and more. Each have their own criteria to meet. 

Beyond the regulatory necessities of health and beauty packaging, producers have to be concerned with maintaining the integrity of the product over its shelf life. In this industry, customers love to see the product before they buy it. If it’s expensive, they want to check the quality. If there’s a color, they want to see it. Not to mention that these products are also fairly-high theft items. Package designers need to take all these factors into consideration. 

The Answer: Thermoformed Clamshell Packaging

Why thermoformed clamshells?thermoformed clamshell

This style of packaging is custom formed to every product. It’s fully encased in place, in sturdy plastic. It can withstand the bumps of transportation and delivery. The plastic also ensures freshness of the product. Any factor that extends shelf-life is optimal. Plus, this might be something mandated from the governing regulatory agency.

Clear plastic offers more benefits. It allows customers to see the product prior to purchasing. They don’t have to open it to see the size and shape, the color and any other features.  It reduced the likelihood of damaged or opened product on the floor. Which in turn means less returned product for you. It also deters shoplifting. Thermoformed clamshell packaging isn’t necessarily difficult to open, but it does take a little more effort than cheap cardboard. Well, depending on the strength of the plastic and the determination of the shop lifter. 

And when it comes to labeling, custom printed inserts can meet that need. These inserts, encased within the plastic clamshells, can be personalized in any number of ways to meet the branding and regulatory needs of your product and organization. 

Secure, Durable Presentation

Thermoformed clamshell packaging is a popular option for many industries beyond health and beauty. Contact Sunrise Packaging today to learn more. 

Custom Thermoforming Packaging Options

When it comes to thermoforming packaging, there’s more than meets the eye. 

It’s the ultimate in custom packaging, as the pliable plastic is molded specifically for products. This perfect fit is part of what is driving the market for this specific type of packaging. In fact, PRNewswire estimates that the thermoformed plastics market will hit over $16 billion dollars by 2015. Demand will increase from industries as diverse as healthcare to automotive to construction, driven by this style’s unique properties. So what’s so special about this style of packaging?

Thermoforming Packaging Options

There are a few styles when it comes to thermoformed packaging.  Each one has different applications and advantages, and work differently for different products. Here’s a quick rundown: 

Custom Thermoformed Trays

Highly versatile as well as usable, thermoformed trays are precision-formed to provide the highest level of protection for products. They can even be created with a locking mechanism to ensure that nothing shifts or breaks in transit. These custom trays can be inserted and heat-sealed into boxes or binders to hold not only your products, but companion content as well. USB drives, discs, manuals, you name it. It’s important that your customers experience your products in an ideal setting, right? Custom thermoformed trays create that ideal setting, anywhere and everywhere. 

Thermoformed Blister Packaging

Originally used for packaging aspirin, blister packaging is a lightweight, easy-to-open option for custom thermoformed packaging. Blister packaging is comprised of clear plastic housing your product and adhered to a backing like cardboard or foil. While the idea of easy-to-open packaging might not be at the top of your list of considerations, it’s proving to be a main motivator for some shoppers. Driven by the aging baby boomer market, usability is an increasingly large concern, especially for healthcare and medical devices. 

Custom Thermoformed Clamshells

Clamshells are an increasingly popular option for items that customers want to see before buying. For obvious reasons, it’s not always in the best interests of retailers and producers to have customers opening their products, fidgeting with them, and then walking away. By encasing products in clear plastic, customers can see the exact product they’re looking to purchase. And by making the packaging securely tamper-proof, they know that it’s in perfect condition. We recommend adding a printed insert as well for your branding and more marketing real estate!

Learn More About Thermoformed Packaging Options

Minnesota’s Sunrise Packaging has years of experience in this market. Contact a representative today to find out what style can work for your product!

 

Thermoformed Clamshells Level Up Packaging

Thermoformed clamshells are one of the most versatile styles of packaging. Particularly for retail products because they can be shelved or hung in an area. While blister packs work well for smaller, lighter things, clamshells have more capacity for heavier items. This is because of their construction. 

How Thermoformed Clamshells Are Made & Used

We explained blister packaging as plastic that is heat-sealed onto a separate backing. Think of how eyeshadow is commonly packaged in drugstores: the compact is slightly open, allowing consumers to see the colors. But it’s held securely in place through the thermoformed plastic, and stuck to a piece of cardboard. This allows the customer to open easily from the back after purchase. 

Thermoformed clamshells are similar, but are one single piece connected with a hinge. Just like their namesake. They’re made in a vacuum-forming process, allowing for a tight-fit fastening and total transparency and protection for the products they contain. The main benefits include: thermoformed clamshells

  • Clear evidence of tampering. With the plastic wrap-around feature of clamshells, it’s easy to see when a package has been opened or if a product has been broken. This aids in quality control and also gives the customer a clear idea of what they’re purchasing. 
  • Increased customer satisfaction. We’ve all been in a situation where we purchase something, get it home, and realize that it’s not exactly what we thought. The color might be slightly off, or it’s a different size than expected. With thermoformed clamshells, customers can literally see the product from all angles. It allows them to be completely sure of what they’re buying, without any surprises or compromises on their part. 
  • Enhanced protection for products. The plastic, perfect formed and contoured to the product, acts as a shield during transport and rough handling. It keeps products safe, in place, and perfect for retail presentation.

Marketing Opportunities 

The fun doesn’t have to stop with the thermoformed clamshells. As a full-service facility, Minnesota-based Sunrise Packaging can help you create paperboard inserts (or other materials). These fit inside the clamshell, like the image above. It offers you another platform to enhance the product as well as bring in your branding and carefully-considered copy. 

Whatever your packaging needs are, Sunrise can create the perfect package for you. Contact us today!

FlashPad Wallets: The Perfect Closing Gift

Okay, let me rephrase: FlashPad Wallets make the perfect closing gift *holder*.

Giving clients a gift at closing as a realtor sounds like a great idea. Who doesn’t like presents, for one, and a gift is a great way to express your appreciation for their business. It’s also a delicate way to ask for a referral (directly or indirectly, depending on your style). However, there are ample opportunities for the sweet gesture to go awry as RealtorMag describes.

For example, a set of crystal wine glasses sounds lovely. Unless they’re emblazoned with your company’s logo, in which case it’s really just a present for you, right? And what if they choose not to drink alcohol? Yes, we know that wine glasses don’t have to be used for wine, but it’s the implication as well as the lack of personalization that offends.  

So how does one come up with a gift that’s personal (but not too personal), won’t offend in any way, leaves a positive impression and reinforces your chance of a referral?

FlashPad Wallets can hold gift cards or USB Drives

FlashPad Wallets to the rescue

FlashPad Wallets are a new take on our classic FlashPad. They are smaller, lighter, and more portable.  The Wallet snaps shut and opens like a bifold wallet (hence the name...and it also possible to purchase as a trifold for more content). The inner and outer areas are completely customizable to whatever logo and messaging you want to share. While the package might become a keepsake for your client, what’s inside will catch their eye.

As RealtorMag notes, there’s one gift that everyone appreciates: money. It’s a tad gauche to fill it with cash, not to mention impersonal, so select a gift card that meets their needs. You’ve spent a substantial amount of time with them, so think back to conversations with them. Are they planning on buying new furniture? Do they love Starbucks or some other item? Does their new house have a lot of shelves that need to be filled with books? The opportunities are endless. The finishing options for FlashPad Wallets also allow for you to write a personalized message while the preprinted packaging does the selling for you.

Another option for the Wallet is a USB drive to be filled with whatever materials you share with clients. Information about their new neighborhood, any closing documents that can be saved digitally...whatever you can think of. I love the key-shaped USB for this idea; it’s a nice touch without being too cutesy. 

Regardless of how you choose to bookend the relationship, your client will probably remember you more for how you worked with them than the closing gift. Use the gift to build your reputation and connect with clients on a deeper level. And let the FlashPad Wallet remind them of where to send referrals. 

What is a Designer Box?

Let’s start with what a designer box isn’t: plain cardboard.

Medela-OpenedIf you’re shipping out blouses, candy, promotional material, or whatever in uninspired packaging, you might as well be replace the word FRAGILE with DON’T BOTHER OPENING.

But why? A box is a box is a box, right? False. If that were true, everything you ever ordered online would arrive as though it were homemade cookies from your great aunt: cardboard, duct tape, and a scribbled address. But companies don’t spend all this time and money on cultivating top-tier products just to have them look like something you bought from somebody on eBay. Sure, there’s lots to love about corrugated. It’s cheap, padded, and disposable…but are those really words you want associated with your product?

Even e-retailers are being told to “ditch the brown box” by experts. Frankly, it’s a little on the boring side. Not to mention, it’s hard to establish brand identity with a box that looks like everyone else’s. Which brings us to the designer box.

Like designer anything, a designer box has features. It could be a unique opening, something outside the standard top flaps. Maybe it’s shiny foil trim, gold or silver. Perhaps it’s embossed handwriting, magnetic clasps, or a flocked interior. Maybe it’s all of the above.

gate_fold_designer_box_minnesota_vikings

One place to start is packaging that is rigid. This means the walls of the box are assembled using chipboard, a condensed form of cardboard that mimics the stiffness of thin particleboard. You might have experienced this type of packaging in smartphone packaging, or even with high-end board games. The result is more durability and, ultimately, reusability. That’s another designer difference: boxes can be eco-friendly as the day is long, but reusable packaging is smart packaging. It’s multifunctional, and therefore valuable. Pop quiz. What’s the better choice for bagging your groceries–paper or plastic? The answer is actual secret option C, a reusable bag. No matter the material, disposable products still contribute to waste.

As with most things, it’s important to remember your audience. Or maybe, recipients in this case. If your product is an all-organic, environmentally-minded soap, you might not want to include all the bells and whistles on your packaging. (You might not want to have packaging at all, but good luck with that at retail.) In this case, you might want to opt for the cardboard box. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spruce it up–even eBay knows that. And it’s totally possible with soy-based inks and water-based coatings. But for items with a higher price tag (think: electronics, tools, clothing), don’t you want packaging that matches the quality of your product? More than that, don’t you want the security and storage that comes along with designer packaging?