Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on April 23rd, 2020

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What Is Blister Packaging Made Out Of? Understanding It's Elements

Packaging Materials | Environment | Packaging Design

Blister packaging is a unique type of packaging that evokes the idea of a blister. If you have ever had one, you can see the resemblance. It is a flat surface with a bubble protruding from the flat area. Inside the bubble is where the product is contained.


Blister packaging (AKA: blister packs) are a type of carded packaging. Similar in style to skin packs, blister packs are commonly used for packaging a variety of products including, but not limited to fishing lures, tools, and pharmaceuticals.


People often ask us, "what are blister packs made out of"? In this article, we will explore the materials that make up blister packaging, some of the benefits of blister packs, as well as common uses and problems.


What Is Blister Packaging?



A blister pack is a packaging supply made from a piece of pre-formed plastic that is stuck to another material such as blister-board or metal foil. Blister packs are utilized in the packaging of items like pills, screws, nails, and other types of products.



Vet writing on clipboard the prescriptions in medical office-1



What Are Blister Packs Made Out Of?



The focal point of a blister pack's various materials is a piece of thermoformed plastic (such as PVC, PET, PETG, etc.). A backing substrate (most commonly made from blister-board) is attached to the backside of the thermoformed plastic container. Two-sided blister packs that do not use a blister-board backer but instead use another piece of plastic are commonly called clamshells.




Benefits And Uses Of Blister Packs


Blister packs are sturdy and robust packaging materials that are an excellent choice for protecting products from harm. Blister packs also protect products from other problems like humidity and contamination for extended time-frames. Some types of blister packs are made with unique plastic formulations that will actually block UV rays from touching the product within.




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There is an extensive range of products that are packaged in blister packs. These items include products such as toothbrushes, sleep aides, mechanical parts, and a vast amount of other small to large-sized products. If you suffer from allergies and rely on over the counter antihistamines to find relief, most likely you are familiar with blister packs. They are commonly used to house these types of medications.



When shopping for items in your local Walmart's hardware section, you will find tons of different products packaged in blister packs. Everything from hammers and wrenches to drill bits, piping sections, and other home improvement goods.



What Are Some Common Problems With Blister Packs?



As any form of single-use plastic, there are some negatives associated with blister packs. They often find their way into rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, and the ocean. If you have ever gone fishing, chances are, you have probably seen an empty blister pack that once housed a lure sitting nearby.



Although these environmental issues are a problem with blister packs, it can be avoided. Proper recycling of blister packs by consumers immediately addresses this concern as they are almost always composed of entirely recyclable materials.



That being said, it is up to each consumer to do their part in ensuring these materials are put in the proper recycling bins and are not intentionally left in nature or throw into the trash.



Another issue with blister packs is that some types may be hard to open. This creates a potentially  complicated unboxing experience which may lead to a sense of "wrap rage".



Wrap-rage is a negative emotional state of anger and frustration generated by overly complicated or difficult packaging supplies that are time-consuming to remove.


What Else Should You Know About Blister Packs?



Environmentally minded people would do well to consider buying trapped blister packs as their packaging material of choice. Trapped blister packs feature a design in which the item contained within is trapped in a smaller thermoformed plastic piece that is stuck between two blister-board cards.



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Trapped blister packs are considered the most sustainable type of blister pack and also boast a "zero wrap rage" experience. Trapped blisters provide all of the functionality commonly wanted in a traditional blister pack, but with less impact on the environment and the consumer.



Speaking of wrap-rage, when it comes to blister packs, they are commonly known to induce wrap-rage in unassuming consumers. Some blister packs feature design elements made to reduce wrap-rage, but that is not the case for all.



How Can I Buy Blister Packs?



When it comes but purchasing blister pack materials and machinery for your packaging line, you will want to be sure to do your homework well in advance of choosing a vendor. Reach out to at least 3 or 4 local packaging companies and ask for information about at least two different brand offerings of materials and machinery.


Compare the information you receive from each vendor and prepare a set of questions for each representative based upon your unique applications, products, and packaging line requirements. Ask about lead times, customer service availability, certified technical service, preventative maintenance options, and anything else important to you as a client.


Once you have identified your chosen vendor, work with them to implement the proper machinery and materials to begin packaging your products in the desired form of blister packaging.


Now that you know everything about blister packaging, you may not be ready to make a decision. First, you should consider the other types of carded packaging as one of those may be a better fit for your packaging needs.


If you are not sure where to start the journey for sourcing blister packaging materials and machinery, feel free to reach out to one of our packaging professionals. At Industrial Packaging, we have been selling carded packaging supplies for decades. Our representatives will be able to help you choose the correct type of packaging for your specific needs.


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.