What is rigid packaging?

When it comes to packaging, there are a plethora of options available. The right packaging largely depends on what’s inside, but can sometimes be influenced by transport needs and distance as well. Broadly speaking, we can break packaging into two main categories: rigid packaging and flexible packaging. Today, we’re going to focus on rigid packaging.

What it’s made from

As the name suggests, rigid packaging is a sturdy, inflexible packaging solution made from strong materials. This includes hard plastics, glass, dense cardboards, and metal. Because of their heavy-duty properties, rigid packaging supplies are usually more expensive than flexible options, and also come with a higher carbon footprint (however, many kinds of rigid packaging can still be recycled).

What’s inside

You’ll notice rigid packaging in your own pantry. Think wine bottles, glass jars for spreads and veggies, soft drink cans, hard plastic yoghurt containers, or pressurised whipped cream cans (to name a few).

Rigid packaging benefits

Reasons for choosing rigid packaging vary, but usually come down to four main benefits.

1. Health

Some types of rigid packaging air tight, preventing germs and bacteria from entering foods. As such, foods last significantly longer because they’re protected against outside elements.

2. Protection

Companies also choose rigid packaging for its protective qualities — the foods inside are more likely to be protected in transit or if dropped by a customer.

3. Shelf appeal

On a crowded, busy supermarket shelf, shelf appeal is an absolute must. Rigid packaging often gives products a high-end, luxury feel. For example, if you’re comparing two identical olive oils, but one is in a glass bottle and the other is in a plastic one, the glass one will feel classier. It gives the impression of quality and is a simple marketing tactic used by many organisations.

In fact, many brands use multiple types of rigid packaging for one product. For example, fine single malt scotch is often housed in a glass bottle, then placed inside a decorative box.

4. Recycling

Glass, cans, cardboard, and hard plastics are easily recyclable.

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