The Rise of Plastic

Although MJS Packaging got its start in the glass packaging industry, the reality is that plastic rules the modern-day packaging world. There are many factors that drive a manufacturer's material choice. Both materials have their pros and cons, and not every material is suitable for every product.

Material Compatibility

One primary driver for choosing the right packaging is the compatibility of the product being packaged with the container material. For instance, if the package contents contain harsh chemicals, certain materials may cause unwanted chemical reactions or the product could even be absorbed by the container material. Fluorination can be done with certain plastics to prevent these unwanted reactions.

It is also important to consider aspects of product ingredients that need to be protected or preserve. For instance, certain foods are susceptible to discoloration and certain beauty products can go bad if oxidization occurs. Additionally, some ingredients are light-sensitive and need packaging options that protect them from UV rays.

Practical Benefits

Another factor in a manufacturer’s decision on choosing their packaging material is the brand image they are trying to convey through packaging. Glass continues to be associated with higher-end, luxury goods, while plastic and paper are seen as more disposable. However, when plastic is used, it has some clear benefits over glass.

First, plastic is lightweight and shatterproof – the polar opposite of glass. These properties are beneficial for many products that are handled often by consumers – think condiments and supplements. This makes plastics better for children, seniors, and others with potentially reduced motor skills.

Plastic containers in a refrigerator door Plastic packaging poses much less of a danger if dropped than glass.

The shatterproof and lightweight qualities of plastic also make the material better suited for ecommerce. Glass is prone to breakage during shipping, even when well-protected. Plastic is much lighter than glass, which reduces the overall freight costs for manufacturers. There has been significant growth in online shopping of consumer packaged goods, especially in the grocery sector, and this is only expected to increase over the next several years.

Ease of Use

Plastic is the logical choice when it comes to ease of use and convenience. Offering plastic packaging options can enable consumers to take your product with them wherever it will be used, such as on the beach where glass is prohibited or included in school lunches. Today’s consumer is often on-the-go, so accommodating their needs through packaging can make it an easy choice to buy your product.

Single-Serve Applesauce Cup Packaging Single-serving plastic packaging makes it convenient for consumers to use your product anywhere.

Same Look and Feel

Over time, plastic containers have stepped up their game in terms of their ability to mimic glass packaging in both look and feel. By increasing the gram weight of PET containers and mimicking the styling of glass bottles and jars, we are able to maintain the same look and feel that consumers are accustomed to while reaping all of the benefits that plastic has to offer. We see this especially with packaging for foods such as peanut butter, salsa, sauces, and dressings.

Filling Process

Finally, plastic packaging offers benefits when it comes to the filling process. There is much less breakage with PET containers during the filling process than glass, which reduces both downtime and liability for manufacturers.

Process Filling Station with Glass Bottles Glass is prone to breakage during the filling process.

Sustainable Plastics

One of the reasons that plastic is often looked down upon is their impact on the environment. But the packaging industry has made great strides in recent years in developing more sustainable plastics. Recycled plastic gets turned into Post-Consumer Resin, which can hold many of the same properties as traditional plastic. Scientists have even developed ways to turn biomaterials like sugarcane into plastic-like substances.

MJS Packaging Solutions

Both plastic and glass packaging have their pros and cons, but there are many reasons that plastic rules the packaging world today. Contact us online or call us at (800) 915-2262 to learn more about the right packaging choice for your product.