Two plastic box companies have merged to create what they believe is the largest manufacturer of the specialty packaging in North America.
Clear plastic boxes are formed from sheet to create a premium packaging option to folding paper cartons in a range of consumer products, explained Dave Dennison, president of Printex Transparent Packaging Inc.
“It's a growing niche market,” Dennison said in a phone interview.
Dennison's former company, Transparent Packaging, merged with Printex Packaging in late August to form Printex Transparent Packaging Inc. The merged entity has production plants in St. Laurent, Quebec, and Islandia, N.Y., and both will keep running, according to Dennison. The merged business employs about 60 and has annual sales exceeding $10 million. The new company has three design centers in North America and also works with a partner in China for offshore packaging jobs.
Transparent plastic boxes are a high-end alternative to folding paper cartons for packaging cosmetics, candy and a host of other consumer products. Dennison said a study by Clemson University showed consumers feasted their eyes on the clear plastic boxes for 678 percent longer than when products were packed in paper boxes.
“The effect on the shelf is astronomical,” Dennison said.
In addition to plastic boxes, the new company produces hybrid packaging comprised of plastic windows and paper walls and this too is a growing market. For many of these applications, Dennison said, the company works with paper box producers who usually aren't familiar with plastics and how to handle them without scratching the surface or otherwise degrading the appearance of the package.
Dennison said the bigger, merged company will be able to compete more effectively with imports. Retailers such as Wal-Mart are reshoring some packaging needs and this is fueling growth beyond the materials-replacement trend. Although growth is healthy, the plastic box market is still relatively small, explained Dennison.
“Not many companies do it,” Dennison said by phone. “Our main competition is from China. Compared with thermoformed plastic packaging and paper packaging it's a small market.”
Printex Transparent Packaging buys plastic sheet, die cuts it, prints and decorates the blank, then creases it. The customer has the option of folding the shape into a box using equipment and techniques recommended by Printex Transparent. PET is the major resin in the process but PVC, polypropylene and other polymers can be used. For paperboard cartons with windows, the window often is PET or polystyrene. Dennison said his firm also offers post-consumer recycled content for PET constructions.