Materials for Packaging

There are many types of thermoplastic polymer resins used in the thermoforming process today. The best way to determine what type of material is needed for a project is to determine the top three traits the packaging must include. For example, if the product is a fragile high-end retail application, the package must protect and secure the product while increasing the product’s visibly on the retail shelf. Most commonly, PET or PVC would be used for this application.

Once these traits have been defined, research your thermoplastic polymer resin options. The most common materials used in the thermoforming industry are listed below. If you would like to talk to an engineer about the best material for your project, we would be happy to help.


Main characters are clear, tough, and has good gas and moisture barrier properties.

PVC, Vinyl Plastic

Main characters are clear but “dull appearance”, durability, good barrier properties, and affordability.

HDPE Plastic

Main characters are semi-transparent, and excellent barrier and rigidity properties.

Polypropylene (PP) Plastic

Main characters are mostly colored opaque or translucent, tough but flexible, and resistant to chemicals.

Polystyrene (PS) Plastic

Main characters are mostly colored opaque (can be clear), hard plastic with limited flexibility, and has a relatively low melting point.

PLA Plastic

Main characters are clear transparent, biodegradable, alcohol and water resistant, but not suitable for hot filling.


UPPI is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of specialized, custom thermoformed plastic packaging. Our business is the design, creation, and production of effective, yet cost-efficient packaging for the retail, medical, electronics, industrial, and food industries. If you would like to learn more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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