The Different Types of Packaging and Their Uses

Packaging is used in order to protect products and their information during transportation and display in front of customers in stores.

The different types of packaging vary in shape, design, and material depending on the needs of each industry from food to electronics. 

Each one offers varying levels of protection against damage from puncture, moisture penetration, and light infiltration along with providing an easy way for items to be packed securely for transit. 

Shrink Wrap

This type of packaging differs from slip film as it has an additional side (one or both) which can then be shrunk down with heat to create a more secure airtight barrier against oxygen etc.

With the shrink wrap machine technology, the packaging is faster and easier. 

The shrink film also gives protection against moisture penetration along with some extra security and reinforcement.

Its uses include CD & Magazine shipping, Electronics packaging, and general food and product storage and distribution due to its ability to offer strong puncture resistance.

Also used in the manufacture of loose-leaf binders where packs are dispensed one at a time through a tear strip on the front cover allowing easy access whilst maintaining a secure pack when in storage.

Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes are often the most common type of primary package because they are cheap, recyclable, reusable, and easily customizable for different types of products.

They are made up of three fluted boards glued together to form one strong board with 2 thin paper liners on the inside. 

The strength is provided by the top and bottom outer liner that have small ridges then run along the length of each edge.

These ridges interlock with one another when the board is folded into shape which allows for good stacking capabilities if it’s being used for shipping products.


Also known as the co-extruded film is probably one of the most common types of packaging because it’s cheap to produce and very versatile in its uses. 

It is mainly used for food storage due to its quality barrier against oxygen and humidity penetration keeping packaged products fresher for longer periods than alternative methods such as polythene bags or cardboard boxes etc.

One of its many advantages is that it also acts as a simple tear open seal and so saves on the need for clips etc.

Gusseted Bags  

Allows an easy way to dispense content whilst showing consumers how much they have left reducing unnecessary waste.

Ideal for things that come in small portions or irregular shapes that would otherwise create too much excess air space when sealed by other means. 

Also ideal for items that do not require a tight seal but need protection from the elements such as certain types of products and chemicals etc.


This type of packaging is used when a very high level of protection is needed or when something needs to be securely packaged for transportation either by air, sea, or road.

Its barrier properties offer security against contamination and moisture penetration which is needed in many industries such as the pharmaceutic business where any leaked product could cause serious damage. 

This packaging can also protect against light infiltration which helps prolong freshness in certain foods and products that are sensitive to light.

The stretch film is used for packing pallet loads and among other things has a useful gripping quality that stops loose items from slipping through the cracks of the packed load during transport etc.

Cardboard Boxes 

A popular type of packaging amongst retailers and some suppliers to both protect and display products.

It can be used in a number of different ways either flat or assembled into multi-pack containers for example.

These boxes are customizable with the addition of windows, cutouts, fold-out panels, hinges, etc which allow you to add extra functionality depending on product type and end-use. 

The cardboard box is versatile and allows for easy assembly (glue or tape) where needed such as when adding labels etc.

This makes them perfect for larger items that require multiple components such as vacuum cleaners, furniture, etc. 

Bubble wrap 

Now less commonly used due to development in other types of packing materials, this was at one time a very popular method of protecting fragile objects during transit by air or road etc.

The foam bubbles are often injected into the sheet via manifold which makes the sheet tessellated with pockets enabling easy access for insertion of the product along with providing cushioning effect against impact shock. 

This type is no longer as widely used as thicker sheets are now available offering greater protection against damage due to weight and size.

Some uses of this type of film include product protection, house insulation, and a thermal or sound barrier, etc.

Zipper Bags 

These are common types of food storage and easy to access by tearing the top open then re-closing it to save for later.

The first zipper bag was invented in 1965 and is still widely used today. 

They can be made from many different types of polymer which include: Nylon, Polyethylene, Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Vinyl, PVC, etc.

Some advantages: Easy to use, inexpensive, non-toxic, recyclable, puncture-resistant, and lightweight.

Advantages Disadvantages: Can tear easily causing spillage if not handled with care depending on the age of the product.

Cling/Saran Wrap 

This type of packaging is mainly used for foodstuff storage.

It has a similar function to that of the slip film but provides an extra grip making it easier to remove items from the pack without tearing or marking.

Great for preserving freshness and keeping items clean during storage.

The main difference between the types of packaging is their durability and the level of protection they can provide.

Depending on requirements slip film will be less able to protect against impact damage than stretch film for example.

While this means that products or items need to be well-cushioned in other ways (such as bubble wrap etc) it does mean that if you want an easy way to remove your product from a sealed pack without causing any damage then slip film is ideal.

Another important factor to consider when deciding which type of packaging works best for your needs is how often you intend to access the contents.

For example, do you want something that can easily be opened and shut again several times in quick succession? If so then zipper bags, shrink wrap or gusseted bags may be a good choice. 

If you intend to use your product only once and reseal it then these methods will not be appropriate for your needs.

Hopefully, this article has revealed to you the different types of packaging and their uses. 

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