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How to Choose the Right Poly Product for Packaging and Shipping

Plastic is plastic, right?

Not so fast. Polyethylene sheets and bags can come in nearly any size, shape, color, thickness, and composition to meet your needs.

Learn more about the customization options for poly packaging and what to know when you’re shopping for a packaging solution.

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To understand what kind of poly bag you might need, it’s helpful to know some of the terminology and what to look for when comparing products.

Plastic is produced in various thicknesses, specified by “mils.” One mil is equal to one-thousandth of an inch. (A strand of human hair is about one or two mils). The higher the mil, the thicker the bag.

Poly bags and sheeting can also be created with a variety of resins. Resin is the basic makeup of plastic. It usually comes in tiny beads that are melted and extruded to create a plastic product. A plastic product may utilize a single resin or multiple resins and additives to achieve the desired property

Co-extruded plastic is a mix of two or more resins that are blended into multiple layers for the final product. Monolayer films are what their name implies - a single layer of film. This single layer can be produced from a single resin or a blend of resins.

Co-extruded poly is a film that is produced by utilizing two or more layers of film. Each of these layers of film can have their own unique properties, allowing the ability to create "designer films" for specific applications. Co-extruded films tend to be stronger than monolayer. You can achieve the same strength characteristics a monolayer film has with a thinner co-extruded film.

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Poly bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate different products. Some of the most common include:

  • Gusseted bags: Include expandable sides to allow for different product shapes.
  • Bottom-gusseted bags: Have an expandable bottom panel to allow for a larger product.
  • Layflat bags: A simple, basic bag with four sides. 
  • Compartment bags: A bag with multiple sections to keep products together but also contained separately.

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Your packaging needs are unique to your product, storage conditions, mode of shipping, and more. Poly bags and sheeting can include special properties, such as:

  • Anti-slip: The plastic is produced with a slight tacky feel to prevent slipping and sliding.
  • Anti-static: The plastic will not create or hold a static charge. 
  • Anti-Block: The plastic is treated so it opens easily for loading or filling
  • High-Slip: Reduces friction between films
  • UVI/UVA: Protects film and contents from the sun
  • Non-Scratch: Offers a smoother film surface to protect delicate surfaces

Read more about VCI products here >>

Your packaging expert can help you determine which properties would be best for your particular needs.

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Sometimes you may need a plastic product for a very specialized application. That’s where testing can come in handy. M-Line can help you through the testing process to make sure your plastic packaging will stand up to special conditions.

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A common question we receive is about FDA-approved plastic. FDA approval means the plastic packaging can be used to contain products like food, beverages, and medicines.

Typically, FDA-approved plastics are made with virgin (unrecycled) resins. If you need packaging that is approved to come into contact with food, your packaging expert can help you find the right products. 

At M-Line, we work with suppliers who are certified to produce such products and are trusted to maintain this certification.

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Sustainability is becoming a hot topic in the packaging world, especially when it comes to plastic. 

There are two ways to think about sustainability in plastic: Whether the product itself is made with recycled plastic, or whether it can be recycled after use. When you’re deciding if your packaging should be recycled or recyclable, think about a few things:

  • Can I afford this option (sometimes it will be extra)?
  • Will it meet my needs?
  • Is it something my customers care about?

Learn more about choosing sustainable packaging that will work for you here>> 

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We can design and source poly packaging that’s right for your needs, whether it’s a Gaylord liner, top sheet, product bags, or other option. Let us help you find the right solution at the right price.

See Poly Bags and Film Capabilities

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