When a brand is deciding on how to package there products, they have a few different options. There are pros and cons to both glass and flexible (plastic) packaging depending on many different variables.
Glass packaging is traditional and has been used for many years. Items such as bottles of alcohol, candles, and baby food, and more are all packaged using glass. Glass packaging provides a sleek look and smooth texture to a product. It also provides a luxurious aspect to the product. An example of this strive for luxury is shown in a recent rise in popularity of glass water bottles. These are bought partially for the aesthetic achieved due to the glass. Many companies choose to package their products with glass even though it may be more expensive than flexible packaging. This is due to the fact that plastic can change the flavor of the drink and does not maintain carbonation, flavor, or scent as well as a glass container would. Glass is also becoming more popular as a means of packaging due to the fact that it is seemingly more environmentally friendly than plastic is. Although glass is one hundred percent recyclable, a lot of glass still ends up in land fills. On top of this, the manufacturing and delivery of glass is not good for the environment especially due to the heavier weight of glass.
Flexible packaging through plastic is another way to contain products. There are different types of films for flexible packaging including shrink and stretch film. These provide options to find which type of packaging would work the best for any specific product. Flexible packaging is created to help with extended shelf life, food safety, tear resistance, protection from environmental elements, and to maintain freshness of the product. It is also used to increase shelf life and to conceal the smell of the product. One specific type of flexible packaging that can be used in place of certain traditionally glass-packaged products are stand up pouches. These pouches are generally used to package foods and liquids, such as apple sauce, soap, and drinks. These pouches are very resistant to breaking in most circumstances unlike glass-packaged items.
They are also affordable. These pouches are resealable, like glass packaging, allowing for easy and convenient use of the product. They are also easily decorated and can be made to be very eye-catching. Certain stand up pouches are sold with child safety locks, which make it easy to protect children from attempting to open a product not meant for them, such as medicine. A downside to these packages is that they are porous, which means they may alter the flavor or scent of the food or liquid that is being packaged. Another negative is that stand up pouches are not recyclable. Other types of flexible packaging are recyclable, but they require special infrastructure that is not available in many places. Sending these products to a third party recycling company is expensive and leads a lot of this plastic in landfills.
Depending on the type of product a company is looking to package, glass or flexible packaging may be considered. There are positives and negatives to both, so the decision is very individualized.