If your business sells or deals with small parts on a regular basis, you’ll need an effective packaging solution to store, transport, and display them. When it comes to small parts packaging, the two leading options to consider are plastic containers and plastic (poly) bags. So, in this article, we’ll be reviewing the features and advantages of each option to help you determine which one is right for your business.

Plastic Containers for Small Parts Packaging

Plastic containers come in a wide variety of shapes including round, square, barrel, clamshell, and specialty dimensions. Round, square, and barrel containers are good for bulk quantities; with screw-top lids for easy access and reusability. Clamshell containers, on the other hand, are better in situations that call for permanently-sealed small quantities (e.g. retail). 

At around 12 mil, plastic containers are thicker than plastic bags. And, unlike poly bags, the firm yet flexible plastic — which is typically polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or HDPE — holds its shape, providing more protection for the contents. 

Advantages of Plastic Containers

Strength & Durability — As mentioned above, plastic containers provide a very high degree of protection. The durable polyethylene plastic serves as an effective barrier against dirt, dust, moisture, and other contaminants. The same can be said for poly bags — however, plastic containers’ rigidity grants additional protection against impacts, pressure, and punctures (especially for products with sharp edges/corners). Of course, that added protection comes at a cost, so plastic containers are really best for parts that need that added barrier. Otherwise, poly bags are likely the more suitable option. 

Reusable Bulk Storage — Plastic containers are lightweight yet rigid and durable, making them an excellent option for storing small parts in bulk. Since plastic containers often feature screw-top lids, they can be used continuously, providing quick-and-easy access to the contents within.

Shelf Appeal — Compared to poly bags, plastic containers can have more shelf appeal in the eyes of some consumers. So, if you’re selling small parts in a retail setting and you’re striving to position your products as top-tier, plastic clamshell containers may be preferable.

Plastic (Poly) Bags for Small Parts Packaging

Poly bags are made from thin plastic tubing or sheeting and can be ordered in virtually any dimensions. Small parts bags are often made from Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) — although some bags may use High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). The typical thickness for small parts bags ranges from ½ mil up to 6 mil — with 4+ mil generally being reserved for sharp objects like screws and nails that pose an increased puncture risk.

Advantages of Plastic Bags for Small Parts Packaging

Cost-Effective – Poly bags are an extremely economical packaging solution. This is largely due to the low costs of plastic production compared to other materials. For example, plastic costs 20x less to produce than paper or cloth. And, since poly bags use less material and are simpler to manufacture, they cost even less than plastic containers.

Efficient – Wicketed poly bags (which are seamlessly dispensed from a wicket wire) can be paired with an automated packaging system to enable rapid, efficient bagging. This streamlined bagging process can save time while also reducing packaging costs.

Lightweight & Compact – Poly bags are inherently thin and flat, making them very lightweight and compact in large quantities. This can be a significant advantage during storage and shipping. For example, if your business uses a high volume of packaging, plastic bags will take up far less space in your shop or storage facility than plastic containers.

Versatile & Customizable — Given the versatility of polyethylene plastic, poly bags are highly customizable. In addition to coming in virtually any size, small parts bags can be customized with logos, colors, special sealing options, and additives to modify the clarity, texture, and overall appearance. This will enable you to achieve the exact look and feel to match your brand.

Short Production Times — If you’re interested in ordering custom small parts bags, you won’t have to wait long to receive them: some poly bag manufacturers can fulfill custom orders in just 2-3 weeks. *Here at A-Pac Manufacturing, we take pride in our ability to offer quick turnaround times on custom orders. 

Custom Poly Bag Manufacturing

If your business needs to store and transport small parts, poly bags are an ideal packaging solution. At A-Pac Manufacturing, we provide customized small parts bags in the quantities you need, when you need them. Contact our team to learn more about our poly bag options and customization capabilities.

How to Choose the Right Poly Bag to fit your needs cta