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)
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.
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!
Californiais currently expanding their polystyrene bans. The Hermosa Beach City Council recently signed off on the ban on polystyrene food packaging. This ban is projected to affect roughly 30 companies, which include restaurants and grocery stores.
Beach and ocean pollution are the affects of polystyrene. Polystyrene is a material used for serving or transporting prepared foods. They containers come in the form of plates, bowls, clams shells and cups. It is a petroleum-based plastic.
Preventing litter is the main target of this ban. People will be allowed to bring polystyrene products into the city, the city just cannot supply them. This ban however does not apply for the Hermosa Beach City School District. The ban is supposed to be formally approved on Sept. 11th and will become effective 180 days from that date.
Approximately 1,369 tons of polystyrene foam goes into U.S. landfills daily. By volume, polystyene foam takes up 25 to 30 percent of total landfill area. These figures make it one of the most environmentally unfriendly types of waste around.
Big cities in California such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Huntington Beach have banned the use of polystyrene foam takeout packaging. You can now add Salinas to the list. Salinas city council banned the containers at a 6-1 vote on August 16th which will officially go into effect February 12, 2012. The law also extends into banning all disposable food serviceware including plates, cups, bowls, trays, cup lids, straws, utensils, etc. The law will apply to all establishments that sell or provide prepared food for takeout.
There are a total of 39 bans on polystyrene takeout packaging in California. Los Angeles has bans in place at citywide facilities and events. A bill will be voted on by the state on August 25th that looks to phase out polystyrene takeout packaging statewide by 2016.
Various cities up the West Coast including Seattle and Portland have also banned these containers. If packaging companies are slow to evolve into the new world of sustainable packaging, they most likely will be forced to by law to help preserve the environment. It’s no question that our eco-conscious society is changing the dynamics of the industry.