Liquid detergent containers are usually made from plastic for several reasons: it is strong, convenient, and light. That said, not all plastics have the same characteristics, and not all plastic containers are the same. The first differentiating factor when it comes to containers is whether they are flexible or rigid. While the latter have traditionally been used by the liquid detergent industry, flexible containers have several advantages over rigid versions.
Before choosing one container over the other when it comes to liquid detergents, it is a good idea to get to know the basic features that both models must have, as well as the additional features of flexible containers.
TYPES OF DETERGENT CONTAINERS: FLEXIBLE VS RIGID
There are two options for packaging detergent and/or softener: rigid containers, or flexible containers. The latter are a more recent development. Regardless of the type of packaging, both options must provide strength and safety. The product must be protected from external elements and be able to withstand impacts or breakages throughout the supply chain. In that sense, there are no major differences between the two models.
The key difference, if we only consider the final use of the packaging and the product, is undoubtedly the reduction in the thickness of the plastic used to make the flexible option. This has a series of advantages.
Empty flexible containers take up less space than their rigid counterparts, meaning a larger quantity of packaging can be transported in a given space. This is also a benefit for warehouse storage, since more containers can be stored in a smaller space.
The weight reduction also benefits the end user. Their shopping bag weighs less, they need less storage space, and there is less waste at home.
Likewise, for the manufacturer a flexible container can bring with it reduced packaging costs given the reduction in the amount of plastic required compared with a rigid container.
The performance of flexible containers has gradually improved to incorporate better pouring and usage mechanisms, such as lids, handles, and a pitcher shape to the container. In short, these ergonomic containers support consumers to use them and can replace other types of packaging.
If the goal is a more efficient and cheaper supply chain, the flexible liquid detergent container is a better option than the rigid format.
SUSTAINABILITY AND DETERGENT CONTAINERS
Packaging sustainability has gone from being a consumer demand to a legal requirement, irrespective of the packaging format.
One growing trend in that respect – one which helps build more sustainable consumption models – is the refill container.
Monomaterials can also improve packaging sustainability in this sector, since they are made from one single polymer and designed to be recycled. These features eliminate the need to sort the materials while providing all the properties required in a container to achieve the same performance more sustainably.
Refill containers manufactured using monomaterials are one of the best options to achieve greater sustainability in the detergent industry. In addition to using monomaterials, flexible and refill detergent containers require a smaller volume of materials to make them, gaining them extra points in the sustainability stakes.
PE ECO, ONE OF THE BEST OPTIONS FOR THIS TYPE OF PACKAGING
At SP Group, we’ve developed PE ECO to achieve the required strength, durability and sustainability for packaging for cleaning liquids or liquid detergents. Flexible containers that use this material stand out because they are monomaterial and in turn recyclable. And, they are transparent to showcase the product.
CONCLUSIONS: WHICH ONE SHOULD I CHOOSE?
Though rigid containers have traditionally been the best solution for liquid detergents, advances in the packaging sector have led to new, flexible containers. Improvements in design and in the materials used mean flexible containers are now not only more efficient and convenient from a logistical and user perspective, but also more economic and sustainable. That is why flexible containers are now considered the best option for storing liquid detergents.