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If you manufacture and sell a product, then packaging is one of the most essential elements to marketing your brand. It may seem insignificant, but packaging is the first thing the customer sees. In an age of environmental friendliness, your packaging choices are some of the most important you will make. Many factors must be considered to decide what packaging will fit your product and customer needs. One of these considerations choosing between flexible and rigid packaging. So, flexible vs. rigid packaging: what’s right for your business? Let’s dive in.

What Is Rigid Packaging? 

We are all familiar with rigid packaging, but we might not know what it actually is. Rigid packaging is any packaging that may include cardboard, metal, tin, glass or plastic. Examples of rigid packaging are peanut butter jars, soda cans, laundry detergent bottles, etc. 

Rigid packaging is durable. However, it is often costly and has a negative environmental impact. If these items are not recycled, they will take up space in landfills. Also, rigid packaging can be heavier than its flexible counterparts, leading to higher shipping costs.

What Is Flexible Packaging? 

Flexible packaging typically consists of lightweight materials such as stand-up pouches, pinch-bottom pouches, rollstock, flat-bottomed pouches, etc. There are various reasons why flexible packaging differs from rigid packaging and why flexible packaging is the better option. 

Flexible packaging can be an excellent option for your product needs. It is the best option in a variety of different categories like:

  • Environmental impact
  • Product shelf life
  • Affordability 
  • Customization 

Packaging’s Environmental Impact

Most people assume that if something is made of tin or cardboard, it is automatically recyclable and eco-friendly. This is not always the case. Rigid packaging products can be recycled in some instances. However, we know that not every material is recycled. When these items end up in a landfill, they not only take up a lot of space, but they can take significant amounts of time to biodegrade. Flexible vs. rigid packaging can be much more environmentally friendly.

According to World Wildlife Foundation, items like plastic bottles or coffee pods can take over 450 years to decompose. Flexible packaging, though, can be much more sustainable. One way flexible packaging is more sustainable is that it often requires less energy to produce. In addition to this, flexible packaging can be made of post-consumer recycled materials or a material that can be recycled entirely. 

If eco-friendly packaging isn’t a significant advantage to you in the production aspect, it is a crucial benefit when it comes to attracting new customers. A survey done by GreenPrint reported that people are 78% more likely to purchase a product labeled as environmentally friendly. If you cannot make the product you are offering environmentally friendly, flexible packaging can at least ensure the packaging that your product comes in is. 

Rigid packaging simply does not compete with the sustainability that flexible packaging solutions offer. 

Extending the Shelf Life of Products

Flexible packaging protects food products with a shorter shelf life by preventing water, excess air, and other contaminants from entering and affecting the goodies inside. When you utilize flexible packaging that promotes this freshness, it will please your customers. Adding a reclosable feature to your flexible pouch is a simple way to reseal and keep food fresh longer.  They will notice that your products last longer than your competitors and will likely purchase your product again in the future. 

Rigid packaging can promote freshness depending on the packaging materials used, such as a tub with a lid. However, rigid packaging materials like plastic or cardboard don’t promote the same amount of freshness as flexible packaging can.

Affordable Packaging

Flexible packaging differs from rigid packaging in that it is more cost effective in the overall supply value chain. As previously mentioned, it is compact when shipping, so you won’t be shipping air!  You can ship more packaging per truckload reducing your carbon footprint.  

Customizable Options

Rigid packaging does offer some customization options. However, flexible packaging offers even more customization options regarding how the product is stored within the packaging. You might opt for stand-up packaging, a zipper to guarantee freshness, or a package specifically designed with quality graphics, zippers, and high-tech films that are meant for grease or oxygen barrier.

Flexible packaging is the best option for customization. If you’re not sure what customizable features could best benefit your products, PPT can help!

What Products Is Flexible Packaging Ideal For? 

Flexible packaging is ideal for many different types of products. These products include confectionaries, food items, household products like laundry pods, coffee grounds, and frozen foods. These are products that require protection from different elements like excess air, liquid, or even freezer burn! Even if your product doesn’t fit in any of these categories, it doesn’t mean that flexible packaging solutions aren’t perfect for it.

Customizable packaging, supply chain affordability, and sustainability options alone are all reasons to switch to flexible packaging. Rigid packaging gets the job done, but flexible packaging is an excellent option over rigid packaging if you want fresh products, lower supply chain costs, customizable options, and environmentally friendly packaging. 

Let PPT Improve Your Packaging Today!

Still on the fence about flexible vs. rigid packaging? Let our packaging experts confirm that flexible packaging is the right fit for your business, PPT has all the packaging solutions you need! Our wide range of rollstock, stand-up pouches, and eco-friendly options has your business covered. Don’t hesitate to make the switch to our packaging solutions today. Our packaging is perfect for pet food, food products, household products, and more! Contact us today for more information.

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