Types of plastic used in the industrial sector


A glimpse into key materials for industrial packaging

In the realm of sales and distribution of industrial packaging, it is essential to understand the different typologies of plastics used in the industry. While plastics have been subject to criticism, it is important to base our opinions on reliable scientific evidence to make informed decisions. In this blog post, we will explore the most relevant plastic typologies for the packaging industry and their significance in our products and services.


Industrial packaging plays a crucial role in product protection and transportation. Among the wide range of packaging options, plastics stand out due to their versatile and durable properties. Understanding different plastic typologies such as PE, PP, or PET enables us to offer tailored solutions to meet the needs of our customers. These materials have proven to be effective in preserving product quality ensuring their integrity during storage and transportation.

Each plastic typology possesses unique characteristics that make them suitable for various applications.

Polyethylene (PE)

Polyethylene is one of the most widely used plastics in the packaging industry. It is known for its flexibility, chemical resistance, and sealing capability. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is commonly used to manufacture rigid containers, bottle caps, and shopping bags, while low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is employed in plastic bags, transparent films, and flexible packaging. These properties make polyethylene a versatile choice for a wide range of products.

LDPE, or low-density polyethylene, is also the most commonly used plastic type in the compound packaging offered by Inviker, such as plastic-coated paper in its different variations or plastic Inviflex packaging.

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene is another widely used plastic in the packaging industry. It stands out for its thermal resistance, rigidity, and impact resistance. Polypropylene is utilized in the manufacturing of packaging for food, chemicals, and pharmaceutical products. Additionally, its recyclability makes it a sustainable option for reusable packaging.

At Inviker, our flagship material using polypropylene is industrial woven fabric, 100% recycled and recyclable. The advantages of polypropylene woven fabric over polyethylene woven fabric result in improved material performance and packaging costs.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is widely used in the production of beverage bottles and food packaging. It is known for its transparency, strength, and barrier properties against gases and moisture. PET is highly recyclable and finds applications across various industries in the packaging sector.

Polystyrene (PS)

Polystyrene is utilized in the packaging industry due to its lightweight nature and thermal insulation capability. It is found in the form of expanded polystyrene (EPS) to manufacture food trays and protective packaging. However, expanded polystyrene can be challenging to recycle and can generate significant environmental waste.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is known for its durability and resistance to abrasion. It is used in the production of bottles, pipes, and packaging for chemicals. However, due to its chlorine content PVC can raise environmental concerns making it advisable to consider more sustainable alternatives whenever possible.

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Plastics ranked by recyclability (from most to least recyclable)

By choosing suitable packaging materials, we can ensure the protection and safety of packaged products while also considering sustainability and environmental impact. Our commitment is to offer packaging solutions that align with the specific needs of our customers, leveraging the versatility and unique properties of each plastic typology.

Sustainability: life cycle and recycling

It is common to hear criticisms about the excessive use of plastic materials. However, upon examining scientific data, we are surprised to discover that plastics account for less than one percent of the materials we use, according to the findings of renowned plastic scientist and consultant Chris DeArmitt. Even if we completely eliminated their use, the overall impact would be minimal compared to other materials used in the industry. This does not mean that we should not strive to reduce our environmental footprint, but we must do so in a balanced manner based on a precise understanding of the data.

The environmental impact and sustainability of plastics are widely debated topics. However, scientific studies based on life cycle analysis (LCA) have revealed that, in many cases, plastics can be the most environmentally friendly option compared to other materials.

Chris DeArmitt has dedicated himself to dispelling myths related to plastic. Through his research, which includes analyzing over 400 scientific studies, he has demonstrated, for example, that PE plastic bags are better for the environment than cotton bags, which would need to be reused over 200 times to match the environmental impact of a plastic bag. Paper bags require 2,7 times more energy, generate 1,5 times more carbon dioxide, and consume 17 times more water. Thus, plastics, such as polyethylene bags, can have a lower environmental impact than paper or cotton bags.

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Plastic recycling

It is important to highlight that many plastics used in industrial packaging are recyclable. Furthermore, advances in technology and design enable us to offer packaging solutions that minimize waste and maximize material efficiency. These sustainable approaches allow us to balance the needs of our customers with environmental responsibility.

Notably, scientific developments, such as the application of genetically modified microorganisms and bacteria for the degradation, processing, and recycling of chemical components present in plastics, have emerged. This novel type of recycling does not require the use of polluting chemicals and does not entail the energy costs associated with chemical or mechanical recycling. It represents a cleaner and more cost-effective recycling alternative, according to Spanish scientist Jorge Barriuso from the Margaritas Salas Biological Research Center of the CSIC.

Plastics are also often criticized for their lack of decomposition. However, numerous scientific studies demonstrate that plastics degrade over time. In fact, some plastics decompose faster than other materials, such as wood or leaves.

It is crucial to consider these scientifically supported data when deliberating on environmental policies and decisions.

Innovation and adaptability

The packaging industry is in a constant state of evolution, and plastics play a crucial role in innovating more efficient and functional packaging solutions. Different plastic typologies provide us with the necessary flexibility to adapt packaging to the specific requirements of each product and industrial sector. From flexible packaging to rigid containers, plastics offer versatile options that enable us to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers.

Ensuring quality and safety

In the sale and distribution of industrial packaging, quality and safety are of utmost importance. The plastics used in our products adhere to rigorous quality standards, ensuring the integrity of packaged goods. Additionally, the properties of plastics, such as moisture resistance and impact protection, provide an additional layer of safety during transportation and storage of sensitive products. They also allow for the application of a wide range of additional protective treatments, such as VCI anticorrosion treatment or UV protection, further reinforcing product protection.

In the industrial packaging industry, plastics play a fundamental role in product protection and transportation. While it is important to consider environmental concerns associated with plastics, we must also appreciate their versatility, durability, and adaptability to the needs of our customers.

As experts in the field, we are committed to offering packaging solutions that balance quality, safety, and sustainability. Our goal is to assist our clients in finding the most suitable packaging options for their products, supported by scientific evidence and our expertise in industrial packaging.

At Inviker, we are at your disposal for strategic packaging advice tailored to the needs of each product.