People often don't think about the materials in which items are packed. They are really only interested in what is inside the packaging materials. However, if something goes wrong with the item, then they suddenly become interested and try to find out whether the materials have been ripped or broken, causing whatever damage it is. Then, there are things that most people don't consider as a packaging material, but actually are. We will review all of this, explaining why it is so important to use good and sturdy materials wherever possible. There is an environmental concern as well, which we will review as well.
What Are Packaging Materials?
Anything that packs an item is a packaging material. There are some common ones, bags, foil, paper, Styrofoam, and so on. However, some of them are often not seen as packaging materials. Take, for example, the anti-static bags that electronic equipment often comes in. This is regularly referred to by people as protective foil, but it is actually a packaging material that is designed not just to protect an item from damage during transport, but also from electricity and static. This is a highly specialized type of material. Packaging materials also don't have to be boring. A plastic carrier bag, for instance, can be used not just to pack items bought in a store, but also to advertise a product or shop. Many of these plastic bags can be custom designed, with inspirational messages or special offers for instance. Because many people are becoming more environmentally aware, they often reuse their plastic bag, which means extra advertisement for the store that launched the bag.
There are some important environmental considerations to be made. Many shops now try to offer alternatives to plastic bags, for instance by offering paper bags instead, another packaging material. However, it is also possible to use bags made from recycled materials, which are even better because they can be used over and over again, and will be absorbed back into the environment once discarded. Many merchants now ask for public support, for instance by asking celebrities to sign a bag or do a sketch or drawing, which is then printed on the bag. This way, people will be more encourage using and reusing the bag. Naturally, it is also free advertisement, as people will come to the store to buy something just to get one of those bags. There are other environmental considerations to be made in terms of packaging as well, however. A good example is the tube of toothpaste. This is in a plastic material, with some foil over the cap to ensure the toothpaste remains fresh. This is then placed in a cardboard box. These small boxes are placed in a larger cardboard box. Several of these larger cardboard boxes are then wrapped in plastic foil to be held together. That is then placed on a wooden pallet, which is then shipped to the different stores. You can see from this list how many packaging materials are actually used in something as simple as toothpaste.
Why Are Packaging Materials So Important?
Whenever somebody purchases anything, they expect it to be in good condition. This is only possible by using packaging materials that protect whatever item is being transported. The right materials have to be used for the right items. Polystyrene balls, for instance, are great for flat packed items but do not need to be used in order to transport clothes. Envelopes are fantastic, but if they have to protect a disk, they should be padded. For businesses, using the right packaging materials is essential customer services. If a product arrives damaged, it is unlikely that a customer will be very understanding. They are happy to understand that problems happen, but if it seems to be caused by the wrong packaging, they feel let down as a customer. Hence, they will not place any further orders, nor will they recommend a merchant to other people. In fact, they will do quite the opposite and suggest to others not to use the merchant. Clearly, this demonstrates how packaging materials can work both as an advertisement for a company (by using interesting designs, offering reusable and recyclable bags and by making a statement of environmental awareness), but they can also work as an advertisement against a company (by ripping and causing damage to a product, or through excessive use of materials, or even using the wrong materials). So think carefully about how which packaging material you decide to use.