Skip to content
🎉 Earn points for every dollar spent, click here to learn more 🎉
🎉 Earn points for every dollar spent, click here to learn more 🎉

Packaging Glossary Index

There are many terms, abbreviations and acronyms used in the packaging industry. We have provided a list below to help you understand their meaning. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and to add them to our packaging glossary index.

What does BOPP mean?
BOPP stands for Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene. This is a film of polypropylene that has been stretched in both directions during production to create a biaxially stretch material. It increases stiffness and high tensile strength.

BOPP is very clear, making it ideal for packaging products with high-clear display characteristics like food and retail products.

What does LDPE mean?
LDPE stands for Low-Density polyethylene. LDPE in its original form is transparent. However, as it thickens, the material becomes opaque.

Moreover, LDPE can also be manufactured in a variety of colours using masterbatch (a colouring compound used during manufacturing).

LDPE is a popular plastic because of its transparency, flexibility and ability to heat seal.

Many manufacturers also print on LDPE for products such as shopping bags, carry bags, promotional banners, and a variety of other uses.

What does LLDPE mean?
LLDPE stands for Linear Low-Density Polyethylene.

It is basically a blend of LLDPE. The Linear component is used in the manufacturing process.

LLDPE is more resistant to puncture and impact because it's a softer and flexible material with a higher tensile force.

LLDPE's ability to stretch is another important characteristic.

What does HDPE mean?
HDPE stands for High-Density polyethylene. It is a thermoplastic made from monomerethylene in order to produce polyethylene with a longer molecular chain.

HDPE is a strong plastic, which is why it's so popular. It has high density and tensile strengths.

HDPE is available in many different forms. However, the Grocery Bags that you will find in every corner and supermarket around the globe are the most common form of HDPE.

Bags with inherent strength can be made thinner by using less plastics, making them cheaper.

HDPE can also be used in many other applications. HDPE is used in plastic milk bottles and a wide range of beverage containers.

HDPE is the kind of plastic that people use when they need a little more backbone.

What is the difference between LDPE and HDPE ?
The only difference between HDPE and LDPE is the material's density.

LDPE has a lower tensile strength, which means it is less flexible and can be stretched more easily.

HDPE is a material very similar to LDPE or polyethylene. Only with some different properties.

LDPE is more flexible and has a softer feel than other types of plastic.

It can also melt at a lower temperature.

HDPE, on the other hand, is slightly more durable and has greater tensile strength. It also has a higher density. This makes it stronger.

This is an option for applications that require greater durability and weight resistance.

Both materials are made from polyethylene and have different properties. However, they share the same fundamental characteristics.

Both are extremely versatile and very useful polymers.

What are the Benefits of using LLDPE?
LLDPE is Linear Low-Density Polyethylene. It's more resistant to puncture, impact and other environmental factors.

LLDPE is typically used in a proportion of the overall polymer mixture when making products that are specific to their application.

LLDPE is a good choice if you are making bags with sharp edges. It will reduce puncture resistance and increase stretchability.

One common product in business is "Stretch Wrap" (or "pallet wrap"), which is almost entirely made of 100% LLDPE.

This allows the "Stretch Wrap" to be stretched and pinned around the items being wrapped.

Ice bags are another popular application in which high levels of LLDPE have been added during production.

Because of its strength, LLDPE is often used in packaging and manufacturing.

What does NWPP mean?
The acronym NWPP stands for Non-Woven Polypropylene.

It is a soft fabric-like material made from recycled polymer threads. The material is then bonded together with a cross stitch pattern to give it a 'woven' appearance.

The eco-friendly, reusable and washable nature of NWPP makes it a popular choice.

You can print on it and have many artistic options.

It is important that you note that this bag is not made of natural materials like canvas or calico, despite being a very popular choice for its versatility.

It is still a plastic bag but it is more durable than single-use bags.

What does µm / micron mean?
The symbol um, also known as microns, is used to indicate the measurement of micrometres.

This measurement is used to determine the thickness of plastics in packaging.

Micrometres are a special tool that measures the thickness of plastic. It can be used to determine how thick a piece of plastic is.

Many jurisdictions in Australia have different laws that prohibit retailers from selling single-use lightweight polyethylene plastic bags smaller than 35 microns.

The strength of a plastic film for any particular application will generally be determined by how many microns it contains.

QIS Packaging stocks a wide range of plastic materials in varying micron thicknesses.

What are Calico Bags made from?
Calico is a plain-woven cotton fabric made from textile cotton.

It is made from natural materials and is therefore considered very eco-friendly.

It is usually made of unbleached and half-processed cotton fibres. It is made by weaving natural cotton.

This gives calico a creamy and raw appearance, making it the ideal base for printing or dyeing!

What does EPI mean?
EPI, Environmental Products Inc, is the distributor, licensor, and developer of completely degradable plastic additives.

It is commonly known as EPI and is an oxo-biodegradable technology. It is used to accelerate the decomposition of plastic materials.

Allowing plastic to "break down faster than normal."

What is Cellophane?
Cellophane can be described as a thin transparent sheet.

Cellulose is made from glucose-polymer.

Extracted from natural resources like wood, cotton, or hemp.

Cellophane is a popular choice for florists and food packaging because of its low permeability, which makes it highly resistant to moisture, oxygen, bacteria and oils.

Cellophane – BOPP, Biaxially-Oriented polypropylene is the next option.

It is made from polypropylene biaxially stretched until it reaches cellophane thickness and transparency.

BOPP and natural cellophane have similar properties, so they can be used interchangeably.

Natural cellophane can be biodegraded and cellophane – BOPP can be recycled.

Cellophane-BOPP is more affordable than natural materials because they are more difficult to source.

What is Kraft Paper?
Kraft paper is a sturdy, smooth brown wrapping paper.

It is made by separating wood pulp from softwood.

Kraft paper makes a great wrapping material because of its durability, strength, flexibility, and recycling capabilities. This provides greater protection for both the item being packed and the environment.

What is GSM?
GSM stands for grams per square meter.

It is used in packaging to measure the density or mass of a material. Most commonly, it is paper.

It's essentially a measurement of the thickness of paper and associated materials, such as NWPP.

What is a Gusset?
A Gusset is a product that you will find in a paper or plastic bag.

Plastic bags can have either a top or bottom gusset.

To give the bag more carrying capacity, the Gusset is actually a part of the bag that has been folded in half.

A paper bag can also have a side seam gusset that gives it more volume.

Many paper bags also have a bottom gusset called a box bottom.

This allows the bag to stand upright on its own on a flat surface.