Thinking about product packaging
Packaging makes up an important part of your product. It does the following things:
- contains and holds the product
- protects the product from damage
- informs the customer about the product
- helps to create a brand identity to promote and sell the product
- makes it easier to carry, use and store the product
Cardboard containers are the most common type of packaging. The process involved in manufacturing a cardboard container is:
- Print the design onto card
- Cut out the shape of the carton, with tabs for gluing
- Fold the net into the container shape
- Glue the container together along the tabs
Other types of packaging to consider:
- Bottles and jars made from glass or plastic are used for liquids, granules and powders.
- Plastic bags are used for food products and small loose items, e.g. snack foods and sweets.
- Cans are used for food products. Drinks cans are made from aluminium and food cans are made from tin-coated steel (tinplate).
- Bubble packs consisting of a stiff plastic bubble made by vacuum-forming fixed to a card backing – are used for small products, e.g. stationery items, toys and screws.
- Shrink-wrapping– soft plastic vacuum formed onto card backing – is used for some small products, e.g. DIY products and toys.
The information given on packaging is regulated by laws and standards. Some of the most important principles are that:
- the name of the company that made the product should be visible on the packaging. This is required by law.
- the contents of the product (and its packaging) should be listed. This is required by law.
- health and safety information about using the product should be given. This is required by law.
- information about safely disposing of the packaging or container after use should be given.
- a bar code should be displayed for stock control and pricing purposes.
- instructions for recycling the product and/or its packaging after use.