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Packaging

Buy from the UK's best range of polythene packaging, including polythene bags, resealable bags, poly covers and polythene rolls of film, all at bargain prices.

Packaging is big business in the UK. We all use packaging so frequently in our everyday lives, that we probably don't even notice we're doing it. Packaging helps us keep things in one space or carry them from one place to another. It identifies things for us and keeps them clean and dry, whilst also keeping our food fresh. Polythene packaging is the best material for all of these tasks because it is lightweight yet strong, cheap to manufacture and incredibly flexible, which means it can be turned into a variety of products, thus making it the most popular packaging material in the UK and beyond.

Polythene packaging is...

  • Something we use regularly in our day-to-day lives
  • Employed for a huge variety of purposes
  • Used for everything from keeping our food fresh to helping us dispose of our rubbish and carrying our shopping home to posting something to a friend
  • Available in a multitude of forms, including plastic bags, plastic sheeting, plastic film, bubble packaging, anti-static packaging, each of which come with a huge range of products from which to choose
  • Available in a range of sizes, from the smallest grip seal bags, used for storing tiny items, to the largest rolls of polythene film, used for wrapping large or awkwardly-shaped items
  • Available in a range of thicknesses, from the finest crystal clear polypropylene film used to display products for retail, to the thickest heavy duty polythene used as a damp proof membrane to underlay floors, as used in the construction industry
  • Available in a range of colours or in clear polythene to suit the job in hand
  • Available in bespoke shapes and sizes, or printed to match your business needs
  • Also available in biodegradable polythene, which does the same job as regular polythene but with less of an impact on the environment

Common forms of packaging

Polythene packaging comes in many shapes and forms to cover a multitude of tasks. Here are a few of the most commonly-used forms of packaging:

Packing bags - clear polythene bags used for a range of tasks, from packing and displaying retail products to covering items for storage or transportation.

Display bags - popular with retailers, these crystal clear polypropylene glossy display bags will make your products sparkle!

Carrier bags - plain or printed polythene bags designed to help retail customers carry their purchases home. Available with a variety of handle styles.

Mailing bags - polythene envelopes with an integral fold-down seal that provide a lightweight and waterproof alternative to regular envelopes for sending your mail.

Garment covers - polythene covers used to protect dry cleaning or laundry during transportation or storage. Available in plain or printed polythene.

Bubble packaging - polythene sheets comprised of small air-cushioned ‘bubbles’ that protect delicate or fragile items during transport or storage. Also available in bubble bag form, complete with sealing strip.

Vacuum packaging - used in the catering industry for sealing food before cooking in a water bath (sous-vide - see below), or storing food to keep it fresh. Requires a vacuum sealer to seal the bags.

Polythene rolls - Polythene film available on the roll used for a variety of packaging purposes, including layflat tubing, shrink pallet covers and glossy display film.

Plastic sheeting - Thicker rolls of polythene, also known as builders rolls, used to cover wide areas in the building trade and by painters and decorators.

Specialist packaging

Away from the everyday carrier bag and Here are some of the more specialist types of polythene packaging. But whilst they might be less frequently used, they are no less important.

Anti-static bags - a range of bags that protect electrical equipment and small electronic components from the potential damage caused by electrostatic discharge.

Box liners - a range of large polythene liners featuring a wide gusset, used for lining boxes or drawers, or as a packing cover for large or bulky items.

Fish bags - strong clear polythene bags that come with watertight seals, used to transport goldfish and other types of fish. Popular with pet shops, aquaria and funfair stall holders.

Furniture bags - Extra large polythene bags used for covering large items of furniture, including sofas, chairs, chests of drawers and wardrobes during house removals or for storage.

Mattress covers - High strength gusseted polythene film covers used to protect mattresses. Available for single, double or king size mattresses and come complete with safety warning.

Vacuum packaging and sous-vide cooking

Every gourmet restaurant kitchen worth its salt these days will contain a vacuum sealer and a collection of vacuum bags. Not only does a vacuum sealer allow chefs to store food in an airtight environment, thus keeping it fresh for longer, but it can also be used in the cooking process.

Chefs use vacuum packaging for sous-vide cooking - a method of cooking in which food is sealed in an airtight polythene vacuum bag before being cooked in water at a specific temperature to ensure it is cooked evenly throughout, without losing any of its moisture.

The technique is similar to poaching but, by sealing the food inside a vacuum pack, it has the advantage of retaining the juices and aroma of that would be lost during poaching.

Sous vide is a technique used in many high end gourmet restaurants and is popular with well known chefs including Heston Blumenthal, Michael Carlson and Joël Robuchon.

On a roll - plastic or polythene?

Polythene packaging dispensed from a roll can be referred to by a large number of terms, covering a range of products that serve very different purposes. However, often the terms used to describe these rolls are mixed up and people can refer to plastic or polythene film when meaning the same thing, or they might use the same term - e.g. polythene rolls - when referring to two completely different products.

In the trade, for the most part, ‘plastic rolls’ is a term used to describe rolls of thicker plastic sheeting - often referred to as builders rolls - that protect large surface areas or objects from the dust, debris and generally mess caused by building, painting and decorating. Damp proof membrane, used in the early stages of the building process, is classified as a heavy duty plastic roll.

The term ‘polythene rolls’, on the other hand, would most likely be used to describe rolls of thinner polythene film used to wrap or cover items, such as shrink wrap, pallet covers, glossy polypropylene display film or - when dispensed in tube form rather than a single layer - layflat tubing.

If you’re working with someone who refers to a plastic roll or polythene roll, ask them to be a bit more specific so that you know you’ll get exactly what you need for the job in hand.

Where to buy polythene packaging

Polythene packaging manufacturers and suppliers include:

Polythene
Polythene.co.uk is a fantastic online shop from these specialist polythene manufacturers. They produce and sell a massive range of polythene packaging, bags, film, covers and accessories at unbeatable prices.
www.polythene.co.uk

Poly Bags
Discount Polybag provides a perfect one-stop shop for all your polythene packaging needs. UK-leading manufacturers and stockists of a massive range of poly bags and other plastic packaging, all at wholesale prices.
www.discountpolybag.co.uk

UK Packaging
Buy Packaging is the number one place to go to buy packaging in the UK. Whatever type of polythene packaging you need, from mailing bags to bubble wrap and crystal clear display film to heavy duty plastic sheeting, this is the place to find it.
www.buypackaging.co.uk

Polythene Packaging
Euro Polythene is a pan-European polythene packaging website. Whether you are based in the UK or mainland Europe, this website will cater for any polythene packaging needs, from stock products to bespoke goods, all at discount prices.
www.europolythene.co.uk

Polythene Bags
A website dedicated to helping you buy polythene bags at discount prices. Features a list of major suppliers and a buying guide so that you get the very best bargain prices on quality polythene bags.
www.discountpolythenebags.co.uk

Grip Seal Bags
A website to cater for all your packaging needs, e-Polybags contains tonnes of useful information on a range of polythene packaging from grip seal bags to eco-friendly bags, with a list of suppliers for you to get the best deal.
www.e-polybags.co.uk

Plastic Bag Suppliers
This specialist plastic bag website is a useful tool for anyone looking to buy a range of polythene bags or their biodegradable equivalent.
www.bagsuppliers.co.uk

Plastic Bags
Bags specialises in plastic bags. A fantastic resource for anyone looking to buy or find out more about a range of plastic bags. Contains a very useful glossary of plastic bag terms and details on bespoke plastic bag manufacturing.
www.bags.uk.com

Printed Carrier Bags
If you're looking for plastic bags personalised with your very own design, then head over to Printed Bags, which provides a wealth of useful information on printed carrier bags and how to make your business stand out from the crowd.
www.printedbags.org.uk

Plastic Bag
Plastic Bags Direct is a website dedicated to plastic packaging and plastic bags. Featuring lots of information on how plastic bags are made, what packaging is used for and where to buy it.
www.plasticbagsdirect.co.uk

Cheap Poly Bags
This website describes itself as the "ultimate guide" to sourcing cheap polybags and it's hard to argue. A veritable treasure trove of information on plastic bags and where to buy them at discount prices.
www.discountpolybags.co.uk

Research & Resources

To find out more about polythene packaging, including details of how it is manufactured, the various purposes it serves and how to recycle it, please visit:

PackagingKnowledge: The undisputed polythene packaging encyclopedia, containing vast amounts of information and detailed articles on every type of polythene packaging.

Goldstork: Read hand-picked information and specially selected features on a huge range of polythene packaging products on this free 'best-of-the-web' directory.

PlasticBags.uk.com: The number one polythene packaging directory in the UK allows manufacturers to list products for free, whilst shoppers can browse through a broad range of websites specialising in all types of polythene packaging.

Eco-friendly packaging

Packaging is such an integral part of everyday life in the 21st century that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. But with global warming and other environmental concerns becoming more and more important, many people look to replace their regular packaging with eco-friendly alternative.

What is eco-packaging?

Eco-packaging is a form of packaging that, rather than using traditional polythene, uses alternative materials that are biodegradable, thereby having less of an impact on the environment.

A wide range of eco-friendly packaging is manufactured today from polybio and biodegradable material, that will completely biodegrade when placed in regular composting conditions, landfill or into prolonged contact with soil.

Types of eco-packaging

You can have one eye on the environment while doing a wide range of household tasks these days and there’s eco-packaging to help you along the way.

Popular types of eco-packaging include biodegradable bin bags, refuse sacks and wheelie bin liners, kitchen waste bags and compost bags, biodegradable mailing bags, biodegradable clear bags, biodegradable carrier bags and even dog poo bags.