What You Should Know About Thermoformed Plastic Packaging

What You Should Know About Thermoformed Plastic Packaging


Welcome to the innovative world of thermoformed plastic packaging—a dynamic manufacturing process that forms plastic into versatile, customizable moulded packaging designed to meet the unique needs of diverse industries. By heating a plastic sheet until it reaches a pliable state, the thermoforming process allows for the creation of intricate shapes, from straightforward designs to multifaceted geometries like trays and containers. 

As we delve into the intricacies of thermoformed plastic packaging, join ClearPak Australia on a journey through the art and science of this technique, exploring its applications across food and beverage, medical, and retail sectors. Discover how this lightweight yet durable packaging solution not only safeguards products during transportation and storage but also contributes to a sustainable future through its recyclability.

Applications of thermoformed plastic packaging

Thermoformed plastic packaging is used in various industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and electronics. It is commonly used for the packaging of products such as:

  • Fresh produce
  • Food Packaging
  • Confectionary Products
  • Bakery goods
  • Medical devices
  • Personal care products
  • Consumer electronics

The use of thermoformed plastic packaging reduces waste, offers product protection, and contributes to the overall sustainability of the packaging industry. It is an excellent cost-effective and sustainable alternative to traditional packaging options such as glass or metal. All packaging is 100% Recyclable and can be made using 100% recycled materials.

Thermoforming Process

Thermoforming involves the production of plastic packaging by heating a plastic sheet, forming it into a specific shape, and then cooling it down. This process helps create precise shapes and sizes for different packaging requirements.

Steps involved in thermoforming

The thermoforming process includes different stages such as:

Heating: The plastic sheet is heated to the appropriate temperature for it to become pliable and bendable.

Forming: The flexible plastic is placed on a mould, and the air is released to create a vacuum that forces the plastic to take the desired form.

Cooling: After taking the required shape, the plastic sheet is cooled to retain the shape and form of the created package.

Trimming: After cooling down, the package is removed from the mould and precisely trimmed to attain the perfect size and shape.

Types of thermoforming techniques

There are different types of thermoforming techniques, including:

Vacuum Thermoforming Pressure Thermoforming
Creates customised shapes, a cost-effective solution for small production runs, and has a low mould-making cost. Suitable for high-speed and high-volume production runs, precision in shape reproduction and different textures can be applied to the package.

These techniques help cater to various industries’ packaging requirements, including food and beverage, medical, and electronics industries. Thermoformed plastics offer eco-friendly packaging solutions at a reduced cost compared to traditional materials and have extensive applications in modern packaging solutions.

Benefits of Thermoformed Plastic Packaging

Cost-effectiveness of thermoformed packaging

Thermoformed plastic packaging offers significant cost savings compared to traditional packaging materials like glass and metal. The relatively low cost of tooling and mould-making allows for efficient production runs with minimal setup costs, making it an ideal solution for a wide range of packaging needs.

Design versatility and customization

Thermoforming offers design flexibility, enabling manufacturers to create custom shapes and sizes for unique packaging requirements. Moreover, the technique allows for the creation of textured surfaces and transparent designs, enhancing product visibility and branding opportunities.

Reduced environmental impact

Thermoformed plastic packaging helps reduce the environmental impact by using fewer materials and producing less waste than traditional packaging materials like glass and metal. Additionally, thermoformed plastics can be recycled, further reducing the carbon footprint and contributing to sustainable packaging solutions.

Materials Used in Thermoformed Plastic Packaging

Thermoformed plastic packaging can be made from a variety of materials including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Advantages and limitations of each plastic material

PET materials offer excellent clarity while PP offers good chemical resistance. PS is a popular option for disposable packaging due to its low cost, and PVC is often used for blister packaging due to its durability.

While each material has its advantages, limitations do exist. PET and PP can be recycled, but not all facilities accept PS or PVC.

Overall, careful consideration and testing of each material’s properties is necessary to determine the best option for the product and environment.

Clamshells and Blister Packs

Clamshells and blister packs are common types of plastic packaging. Clamshells consist of two pieces that are joined together and can be easily opened and closed. They are often used for food items, electronics, and cosmetics. Blister packs, on the other hand, are made up of a single piece of plastic and are used for small items like pills or batteries. Both types of packaging offer high visibility and protection for the product.

Thermoformed Trays and Lids

Thermoformed trays and lids are customizable plastic packaging solutions that are commonly used in the food industry. These trays are made by heating and shaping plastic sheets to fit the exact specifications of a product. They are versatile, lightweight and durable, making them ideal for transportation. Thermoformed trays also offer high levels of protection and can be designed to be tamper-evident. Additionally, thermoformed lids can be sealed to trays for enhanced product freshness.

Thermoformed Plastic Packaging in Different Industries

Thermoformed packaging in the food industry

Thermoformed plastic packaging is widely used in the food industry due to its versatility, durability, and lightweight nature. The customizability of thermoformed trays and lids makes them ideal for packaging various food items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and baked goods. These trays also offer exceptional protection against contamination and tampering, making them a reliable option for food transportation and retail packaging.

Thermoformed packaging in the medical industry

Thermoformed plastic packaging is also used in the medical industry for packaging and transporting medical devices and supplies. These trays offer a sterile packaging solution, protecting sensitive equipment from contamination and damage during transportation. Thermoformed packaging can be designed to meet specific industry regulations and standards, ensuring safe and reliable product delivery.

Thermoformed plastic packaging is a cost-effective and versatile packaging solution used in various industries due to its protective nature, customizability, and lightweight properties.

Quality Control Measures in Thermoformed Plastic Packaging

Thermoformed plastic packaging must meet strict quality control measures to ensure product safety and consistency. These measures include regular inspections of the production process to monitor for defects, adherence to industry regulations, and testing for factors such as thickness and strength. Additionally, packaging companies may conduct in-house testing to ensure their materials and products meet quality standards. By implementing these measures, thermoformed plastic packaging companies can provide their customers with reliable, high-quality products.


In conclusion, thermoformed plastic packaging stands as a testament to the marriage of innovation and practicality in the realm of packaging solutions. From its ability to mould plastic into diverse shapes to its widespread applications in various industries, this manufacturing process offers a lightweight, durable, and eco-friendly alternative. 

The versatility of thermoformed plastic packaging, showcased through its customization options and protective attributes, underscores its significance in ensuring the safety, quality, and sustainability of products across the supply chain.

Embark on a packaging revolution with ClearPak Australia! Whether you’re in the food and beverage, medical, or retail sector, our expertise in thermoformed plastic packaging ensures tailored solutions that prioritise product integrity and environmental responsibility. Contact us today to explore how our innovative packaging solutions can elevate your brand, reduce costs, and contribute to a greener future. Let’s shape the future of packaging together!