Imagine yourself receiving a parcel, and inside the box is your product wrapped in newspapers that leave your hands dirty. Of course, nobody wants to unpack their package to find fillers that take all the elegance and fun out of the whole process.
Customers will always notice the padding and cushioning material you use to package their products. Everyone is happy when the packaging delivers goods to customers safely. Therefore, fillers should fulfill several functions, which means you need to select the filling material by various physical properties.
Types of Fillers and their Applications
The fillers that you go with will most possibly depend on what you’re packing and the size of the void space you need to fill. Here are the fillers you’ll find on the market and their typical applications.
Crumpled paper is made with machines and is one of the most widely applied filler materials. However, it is mostly used to package lightweight products, such as electronics, cosmetics, small home appliances, and toys. It is also ideal for sharp or protruding products, such as machinery and tools.
Waste Paper/Paper Cuttings/Newspaper
These are applied in the same way as crumpled paper. However, they make for a much less appealing presentation and reduce functionality.
Tissue paper is often used for gift-wrapping items, but it is an excellent packaging filler too. Using beautifully printed tissue paper as your filler gives your brand and products additional flair. It is lightweight and makes for a robust branding tool. In addition, custom branded tissue paper enhances the unboxing experience of your customers significantly. What’s more, it allows you to remain eco-friendly in your packaging.
Foamed Paper Loose Fill
This material is made of corn curly briquettes of paper that are first shredded then foamed. It features excellent shock absorbency and is relatively light. The best use for foamed paper loose fill is filling spaces for irregular-shaped products along with use as a moisture absorber.
Polystyrene Boxes and Molds
Polystyrene boxes are molded in shapes that adapt them to the whole or parts of the item. They are great void fills for products with protruding parts, from small electronics to large and heavy industrial machinery. Its thermal properties make it excellent for perishable items like food or medicine.
Polyurethane Foam Molds
These have similar physical properties as polystyrene boxes, therefore similar uses, but their additional flexibility and adaptivity make them more effective. For example, polyurethane foam can fill the spaces left by the item (protected with foil) to achieve perfect form rather than ordering ready-made boxes or molds.
Loose-Fill Peanuts – Flopak and Skropak
A casual observer may not notice the difference between the two. They look like corn curls and have similar physical properties and usage. They are great for filling small voids in packages with irregularly shaped items. The difference between the two is that skropak is biodegradable, while flopak is made from polyurethane foam.
These are incredibly light fillers made from polystyrene (Styrofoam). It boasts exceptional insulating properties. It is in the form of flakes and is ideal for shipping small and lightweight items.
Wood wool, also known as excelsior, is basically shredded timber that may be natural or has added color. It is an excellent filler and is visually appealing. Its most common use is in the protection of glass and ceramics. Due to its organic look, it accentuates the ecological qualities of wine and food.
Bubble Wrap is one of the most effective and versatile fillers. It is a light and even filler option compared to crumpled paper and will protect items from damage and moisture. They are available in rolls and sheets of bubble wrap.
Air cushions are a great alternative to bubble wrap since their properties are somewhat similar. They are better for larger void spaces. However, they aren’t suitable for packaging heavy and sharp-edged items that are susceptible to puncturing.
Sponge and Foam Fillers
These are an excellent option for enduring protection to items of any shape. They aren’t susceptible to breakage or deformation with shock or compression. In addition, you can find them in different colors and shapes.
Winding Up: Your Needs will Help You Choose One.
Asking “which is the best package filler?” will generate many good answers. You may be thinking about the best one in terms of visual appeal, maximum protection, or suitability to your particular product.
Whatever you value most, there is something for you. Good luck as you attempt to better your product shipping, thus brand and brand perception.