Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for transport, distribution, storage, sale and end use. Packaging also refers to the prcoess of design, evaluation, and production of packages.
The purposes of packaging
Physical protection- the objects enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, mechanical shock, vibration electrostatic discharge, compression, temperature, etc.
Barrier protetion- A barrier from oxygen, water vapor, dust, etc., is often required.
Permeation- Permeation is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccans or oxygen absorbers to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, sterile and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function.
Containment or agglomeration- Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency For example, a single box of 100 eggs requires less physical handling than 100 single eggs.
Information transmission- Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, dispose of the package or product. With pharmaceuticals, food, medical, and chemical products, some types of information are required by governments.
Marketing- The packaing can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the products, Not only can packaging grab the attention of consumers, it can help to establish brand identity and make a lasting impression. Not only must shape, graphics and color choices convey the right feeling, but also they must be compatible with retail spaces where they will be displayed.
Security- Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages can made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packages may include authentication seals and use security printing to help indicated that the package and contents are not counterfeit.
Convenience- Packages can have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, dispensing, and reuse.
Portion control- Single serving or single dosage packaing has a precise amount of contents to control usage.
Packaging may be looked at as being of several different types For example, a transport package or distrbution package can be the shipping container used to ship, store, and handle the product or inner packages. Some identify a consumer package as one which is directed toward a consumer or household.
Packaging may be described in relation to the type of product being packaged, such as medial device packaging, bulk chemical packaging, over-the-counter drug packaging, retail food packaging, military materiel packaging, pharmaceutical packaing, etc.
Packaging also could be divided into several types according to the materal:
Paper- The paper is used in the forms of boxes, bags, wrappers, cartons, cups, etc., the advantage of using paper is that it is weightless, capability for printing on the surface, low cost. In addition, paper products are easy to corrupt, which is used to produce fertilizer or recycled paper, so paper package is an environ mentally friendly materail.
Plastic- This is the most common packaging material, but it is one of the materials that are the most diffcult to dispose of. It is widely used due to its attractive features which include its light weight and comparatively lower costs. Plastic package is shown in below picture.
Metals- Metals such as aluminium cans are used as containers for soft drinks, beers and processed food. Metal packaging is as shown in below picture, The used of aluminium foil for wrapping and convering food is also popular.
Glass- One of the best materials for storage of liquids and food materials is glass. Glass packaging is as shown in below picture. It will not leach chemicals into foods when heated, and it can also be recycled endlessly. But it is heavy compared to some packaging material, which means more cost of transport.