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Returnable Packaging — The Top 10 Ways to Save Money By Using Plastic Corrugated

Packaging insiders all agree that for manufacturers who ship their products, plastic corrugated containers are the way to go. Because they are extremely durable, they can be re-used and returned over and over again, saving your company a lot of money in the process. But simply using corrugated plastic is not the only way you can save money. Before placing an order for plastic corrugated containers, consider the following ways to save even more:

1. Try different corrugated plastic container styles. Before purchasing a quantity of plastic corrugated containers, check to make sure the product you are looking at has all of the features you need. Ask your packaging producer for samples to try them out – catalogs cannot always give you the best idea of how a product will meet your specific needs.

2. Experiment with different thicknesses of corrugated plastic containers. Plastic corrugated is available in a wide range of thicknesses: from 2mm to 13mm. If your application calls for it, a thinner plastic may be more appropriate (and less expensive).

3. Check with your supplier to see if they have any plastic corrugated containers already in stock. Sometimes, your supplier may have some of this returnable packaging already (perhaps from an overrun or return).

4. Even if your supplier doesn’t have plastic corrugated containers already in stock, they may have the corrugated plastic sheets available that are used to make containers. Depending on whether or not the size and thickness of the sheeting is right for you, you may be able to save by using raw materials your supplier already has.

5. Ask your supplier to run custom sheet sizes of corrugated plastic for your containers. If you use stock sheets that are not the right dimensions for your containers, you run the risk of accruing additional costs from having to die-cut the stock sheets, thus having excess scrap.

6. Instead of custom printing your plastic corrugated containers, apply a printed label. A custom printed label that is then placed on your returnable container can look just as nice, and may last longer because it will not wear as quickly.

7. Ask if utility-grade plastic corrugated material is available. Made from recycled materials, utility-grade corrugated plastic is less expensive than virgin material.

8. If using plastic corrugated for internal custom dunnage such as partitions, make them last longer by having the pieces rod-locked so they will not come apart. Dividers constructed this way last longer because they are more protected against damage.

9. Plastic corrugated is naturally non-abrasive, but make sure to check how your product will react to it. If your product is susceptible to scratching or damage, it is better to find out before you purchase the returnable packaging rather than after.

10. If your product is prone to scratching, have your plastic corrugated containers pre-treated with a non-abrasive coating, such as spunbond fabric or cross-link foam. This way, your products will be protected and you will not have to worry about replacing or repairing them once they arrive.

In closing, returnable packaging made from corrugated plastic is an ideal way to protect your product while reducing your packaging and shipping costs. Don’t forget to consult with your packaging producer for guidance and direction; they’ll be able to design the best solution for your particular application.

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