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Plastics Today: The new frontier: Designing packaging for ecommerce

By: Thierry Fabozzi – President and CEO of PTI

The growth of ecommerce has been exponential and along with it comes a different set of packaging challenges. What started off primarily as a platform to get durable goods—ranging from consumer electronics to air conditioner filters—to the consumer within a few days, is now starting to move into “consumable” product categories which were formerly the exclusive domain of retail stores.

And that’s when things get complicated.

Let’s take for example a liquid soap bottle with a pump dispenser. In order for it to survive traditional distribution channels and “perform” in every sense of the word on a retail shelf, it needs to have multiple attributes.  These include:

  • An appropriate amount of resin so that the container is rigid enough to handle the top load of multiple cases staked on a pallet.
  • A dispensing device  – such as a pump = that functions until all of the liquid has been evacuated.
  • Panels that can accommodate branding, ingredients, weight, UPC bar codes and other mandatory messaging.
  • Differentiation, whether that be color, shape, embossing, or other visual features that are critical for drawing consumer attention.

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