20th Century Plastic Packaging Innovations Still in Use Today

20th Century Plastic Packaging Innovations Still in Use Today

The introduction of plastic as a packaging material revolutionised the way products were packaged in the 20th Century. Plastic is strong, versatile and recyclable, and because it is non-toxic it can be safely used for packaging foods and medicines without contamination. The once iconic and futuristic plastic packaging designs below have become commonplace, but the uses that we associate with them today are not always those planned by their inventors.

Bubble Wrap

In 1957, engineers working for the Sealed Air Corporation - a company based in New Jersey - glued two shower curtains together trapping bubbles of air between the two plastic sheets. Their new invention was marketed as wallpaper but, unsurprisingly, did not have a huge amount of take up. This changed in 1960 when IBM bought up rolls of the stuff to protect their large but delicate IBM 1401 computer during shipping.

Trigger Spray

Trigger sprays are ubiquitous in household cleaning products - offering a convenient way to coat a surface evenly with antibacterial or grime-busting chemicals before wiping down. The evolution of trigger sprays was much helped by the popularity of water pistols - the simplest of these toys use the same mechanism to shoot a jet of water from the nozzle. Although from the 1980s onwards, SuperSoaker type technology has advanced the water pistol's range far beyond that required for disinfecting the kitchen worksurfaces.

ZiplocĀ® Bags

Plastic bags sealable with a plastic zip were invented in the 1950s and marketed as pencil cases. Legend has it that a schoolboy repurposed one to keep his sandwiches fresh and the Dow Chemical Company started marketing them for food under the ZiplocĀ® brand shortly afterwards.

Plastic Bottles

The very first commercial plastic bottles were developed in 1946. They were commissioned by cosmetic chemist Jules Montenier who had developed a liquid deodorant and wanted a squeezable bottle with tiny holes in the stopper that would dispense his perfume as a mist. What started out as a novelty, in the space of a few decades became the number one packaging material for all bottled liquids, with PET plastic overtaking glass a few years ago.

If you are looking for a plastics manufacturer who can supply plastic packaging for your products, our factory in East Anglia is equipped to handle orders of all sizes and our full service includes storage and delivery all over the UK and beyond. Call us today on +44 1692 501020 or email sales@coda-plastics.co.uk

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