6 Common Types of Plastic Packaging

6 Common Types of Plastic Packaging

Plastic is the major material used to store and preserve goods for transportation and sale to customers. It is a popular method of packing products and many brands and manufacturers around the world make use of it in their packaging. Some products that use plastic packaging include soft drinks, cooking oil containers, water, dessert cups with lids, ketchup, and fruit and milk containers. However, different items require different types of packaging. This article looks into 6 common types of plastic packaging that you may find.

Advantages of Using Plastic To Package Goods

Many goods will not survive the journey to the customers’ hands without using plastic to package them. Besides this major advantage, the following are other benefits –

  • Plastics are cheaper and easier to move from place to place, compared to other materials
  • Unlike glass, they do not shatter and are, thus, safer
  • They are more durable and are less likely to tear or rip.
  • The way they are produced makes them perfect for preserving food long-term
  • They are easy and quick to produce and print
  • As lightweight as they are, they are very strong and can easily carry enough weight
  • They also help to reduce food waste in the world. This is because food items can last longer and consumers can easily store them, instead of discarding uneaten food.

6 Major Types of Plastics Used To Package Goods

There are different categories of plastic for packaging, storing, and preserving food. The 6 major types are listed below.


PET is one strong plastic used around the world. Although lightweight, PET's strength helps to protect the food or drink products contained in it. It is also clear and transparent so users can see what they are purchasing. PET is used to store food items such as carbonated drinks, water, juices, cooking oil, peanut butter, liquid soap, and salad sauce.


HDPE is similar to PET in being lightweight. The major difference is that it is stronger. It is opaque and very versatile. HDPE is used for milk containers, juice jugs, bleach, and shampoo containers.


LDPE is thin, soft, and very flexible. It is tough and is not easily affected by heat compared to other types of plastic. Because of this, it is the go-to for sealing with heat and welding. LDPE is the material used for making six-pack rings for beer and soft drink cans, squeezing bottles, and bags for bread, vegetable, and fruits.

PP -

PP does not melt as easily as other variants, so it is preferred for packaging food items that get in a microwave. Containers that are made with PP store food like yogurt and cream cheese. It is also used for medical products like drug containers and syringes.


PVC is another popular plastic-type in use around the world. It is one of the oldest types available and it is also flexible. Its use is usually seen in construction and health care. It is also used in packing gum.

PS -

PS is a solid, versatile, and hard material that manufacturers make a wide range of consumer products from. It is colorless and packages made with PS usually store goods for longer. It can also be shaped easily. PS is used for making food trays and lids, plastic cups, and meat trays.

Bottom Line

While there are environmental and health concerns over the use of plastic for packaging, its use remains mainstream. If you choose to use plastic in packaging your products, then ensure that the item is not stored for too long in the packaging.