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10 Ways Flexible Outperforms Rigid

For the past century, rigid plastic packaging has dominated the packaging industry. However, flexible packaging has been trending to become one of the fastest growing packaging sectors, and for good reason. Many brands have been making the switch for a myriad of benefits including resource reduction, cost savings, consumer convenience, and customization benefits.

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According to the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), a single serving of juice in a PET bottle emits 57% more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and uses 137% more water than a flexible pouch. A rigid pail for cat litter produces 996% more GHG emissions and uses 1,370% more water than a flexible stand-up bag. Moreover, a rigid PET container for laundry detergent produces 726% more GHG emissions and uses 660% more water than a stand-up pouch with zipper.

LOWER CARBON FOOTPRINT & WATER USAGE 
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The FPA  found that holding 60 lbs of juice requires a container made from either 6 lbs of a PET bottle (rigid) or 1.5 lbs of a plastic pouch (flexible). This indicates that the production of PET bottles needs 4 times more material (in weight) than flexible packaging.

LESS MATERIAL USAGE
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When considering the amount of packaging that ends up as municipal solid waste, the PET bottle is higher than the flexible drink pouch (33,442g versus 27,734g of package/1000 kg of beverage), with the PET bottle resulting in about 20% more material in a landfill than the drink pouch.

LESS LANDFILL GENERATION
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Through a study done by the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), 57% of brand owners surveyed that switched to pouches and bags, lowered their production costs. As previously mentioned, the reduction in materials needed reduces the production costs. Moreover, the molding fees associated with flexible packaging are less than rigid molds.

LOWER PRODUCTION COSTS
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The same study found that 49% of brand owners that switched to flexible packaging lowered supply chain and shipping costs. To illustrate, one truckload of flat pouches often equals around 26 truckloads of rigid containers. This reduces both transportation costs and carbon emissions.

LOWER LOGISTICS COSTS
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81% of the respondents of the FPA survey stated that they not only noticed when a product appeared in different packaging, but that they bought products they didn't plan on purchasing. Included in this sample, 39% stated they tend to buy products because of new or different packaging. With Formosa’s various products and almost limitless graphics, shapes, and sizes, flexible packaging is much more capable in product differentiation. 

HIGHER CUSTOMIZATION

In a study done on September of 2015, the FPA and Harris Poll, completed a consumer survey on retail packaging with 2,120 respondents aged 18 and over. The three highest packaging attributes rated by consumers were easy to store, easy to reseal, and easy to open. Snacks can now be packaged in stand-up pouches with tear notches and a resealable zipper.

CONSUMER CONVENIENCE

Formosa Packaging uses rotogravure technology to create brighter, colorful, and more precise images than other printing techniques. Formosa also has the ability to print gloss, matte, and spot gloss finishes.

HIGHER PRINTING QUALITY

Rigid packages typically cannot be printed on directly, thus incurring additional costs for labeling materials. When it comes to flexible pouches, designs can be directly printed on the surface, making the entire surface area a canvas for the brand, optimizing marketing display. 

LARGER DISPLAY AREA

At Formosa, we also offer recyclable and compostable packaging to help brands achieve their sustainability goals. For delicate electronic products, such as semiconductor chips, Formosa’s anti-static bags (ESD) protect against static and moisture damage. Moreover, our retort pouches are high-temperature resistant and can withstand the pressure of sterilization to keep food from spoiling and extend shelf life.

INNOVATIVE MATERIALS

Every type of packaging has its benefits and disadvantages. Formosa works diligently to make sure we offer packaging with the most benefits to help brand owners and manufacturers use the best type of packaging to satisfy their needs.