The packaging industry has been around for thousands of years and since the early days of humanity. There has always been some form of packaging to help people in transporting, storing and protecting items. In early times, people would use basic packaging materials and designs to meet the needs of hunting and gathering, which was essential for survival.
It hasn’t really been recorded when the first packaging type was invented, but many historians agree that it was early humans, who were hunters and gatherers, who invented it. Because they were constantly moving and relocating, these people were often forced to construct devices for carrying, which contained food items and tools. There is still a lot of speculation about what the first packaging product was made from, and even though the materials were basic, there are still some possibilities.
1 – Leaves – Large leaves used with vines may have constructed the first packaging container product.
2 – Animal Skin – When an animal was killed, every part was used, so it is thought that they may have used the skin to transport items.
3 – Wood – Hollowed out wood may have been used as a storage device.
However, the above options are only speculations to what may have been used by early humans. Years after the hunters and gatherers developed the first form of packaging, the need for packaging and containing devices became more important. When humans began to domesticate animals and plants, villages began to pop up. The introduction of villages increased the need for larger storage and transportation devices to supply larger groups of people.
The industrial revolution brought lots of changes to the daily way of life, and it consisted of an age where products began to be produced by machines instead of by hand. Many rural residents decided to move into towns and cities to get steady jobs and better wages. The increase in production and the increase in disposable income encouraged producers to develop more efficient packaging methods. The increase in product production resulted in a demand for storage and transportation bins, bags, food packaging, primary packaging, and in-store packaging options.
The migration of people who decided to relocate to the city reduced the need for large bulk consumer packaging options and increased the need for individual and smaller packaging measures. Manufacturers and producers needed the large storage containers and bins more than ever, but consumers needed other packaging options. These demands offered a new chapter in the packaging industry.
Bulk packaging had been around for hundreds of years, but the individual packaging was something new. A variety of paper-making methods were implemented during this time to fulfil the needs of those living in more built-up areas. Initially, most of the food packaging, bags, primary packaging, and in-store packaging options were developed from a paper based material. There were some exceptions with glass jars and jugs being an important part in the demand for individual packaging methods, with many companies developing printing methods to place their brand on the product packaging.
After this, there weren’t any major advancements made in the packaging industry until the early 1900’s. This was when plastics were introduced to the packaging industry, and new cellulose plastic changed the packaging industry, which ruled the flexible packaging sector for years. Polyethylene was produced in the 60’s and quickly became a preferred packaging product.
There have been many modifications and new developments since the development of plastics into the packaging industry. A large variety of different plastics has been produced since the first introduction. These plastics have increased the quality of life for people around the globe and continued to advance the packaging industry. The plastics have enabled manufacturers and producers to extend the life and better protect products.
Because of the popularity in plastic packaging, the shrink wrap machines have become one of the most practical packaging solutions. As the packaging market has increased over the years, shrink wrap has been a great way for companies to become more efficient.