Selecting a Plastic Container
Factors to Consider When Choosing Plastic Packaging
There are several things you should take into consideration when choosing the most suitable plastic packaging material for your product. Factors range from the container's color, shape and size to the plastic's ability to maintain its integrity under certain conditions such as extreme heat, cold or chemical exposure.
Determine which plastic characteristics are the most important to you and your product. Some of the factors listed below may not be applicable and there may be others to consider beyond this scope. Each product is unique, so be sure to test your product with the packaging. This is the only way to truly know if it is the best packaging choice for your product.
- Permeation / Barrier
- How well the container forms a barrier, keeping the contents from escaping or allowing atmospheric elements to enter the container.
- Sorption Characteristics
- The action of soaking up or attracting substances.
- Chemical Resistance
- How well the plastic will resist breaking down when exposed to the container's contents.
- Stress Crack Resistance
- Likelihood that the container will break or form cracks when subjected to physical stressors.
- Rigidity / Flexibility
- Should the plastic container be stiff or bendable?
- Impact Resistance
- How well the container will withstand breakage if dropped.
- Can the packaging withstand the heat or chemicals used during the sterilization process?
- Is the plastic readily recyclable? For more information on plastic container recycling, visit our plastic recycle codes page.
- Temperature Resistance
- Will the plastic break down if exposed to extreme heat or extreme cold?
Plastic Container Properties by Recycle Codes
PET / PETE
|Max Useable Temp||140° F||248° F||158° F||176° F||275° F||158° F|
|Brittleness Temp||14° F||-148° F||-22° F||-148° F||32° F||71.6° F|
|Tensile Strength, PSI||8000||4000||5000||2000||5000||6000|
|Invented By||J. R. Whinfield and J. T. Dickson, 1940||Robert L. Banks and J. Paul Hogan, 1951.||Waldo Semon, 1926||Eric Fawcett and Reginald Gibson, 1935||Robert L. Banks and J. Paul Hogan, 1951||Eduard Simon, 1839|