Plastic Containers Wholesale: types, compliance, costs l Martin’s Plastics (2023)

by Martin´s Plastics 1 Comment

If you are considering the acquisition or production of plastic containers wholesale, this article can help you make an informed decision. We aim to determine the use and importance of plastic containers in our daily lives since they first appeared on the market.

Also, we will tell you which are the most popular and sought after plastic containers so that your investment in plastic containers wholesale translates into profit.

Likewise, to make your investment safe, we will inform you which type of plastic is most appropriate for your needs, the kind of convenient sealing, and the mandatory regulations.

To all the above, we add an example of costs and the main characteristics of a suitable manufacturer to make your project as successful as you wish.

• How plastic containers became popular

• A type of plastic for a type of container

• Alternatives for a changing plastic containers wholesale industry

• What is wholesaling?

• Plastic containers wholesale: The top products

• Compliance and standard

• What is the cost for plastic containers wholesale?

• Choosing a manufacturer for plastic containers wholesale

• Plastic containers and their sealing

• References

How plastic containers became popular

The history of manufactured plastics dates back over 100 years, but compared to other materials, they are relatively modern. Plastics served as substitutes for wood, glass, and metal during the difficult times of World War I and II (1).

During the 1960s, plastics replaced many other products such as wood, cardboard, or glass in packaging. In the 1970s, plastics replaced some light alloys, taking the place of some metals, and during the 1980s, plastics production intensified and diversified to become one of the world's leading industries (2).

Plastic is fundamental in our society because of its useful characteristics:

  • It is easy to work and mold
  • It has a low cost of production
  • It has a low density
  • It can be permeable
  • It is an excellent electrical insulator
  • It is a good thermal insulator
  • It is corrosion resistant (3)

All these characteristics make plastic containers ideal for everyday use andwholesale promotional products.

The first and most famous wholesale plastic containers are the first squeezable plastic container for Stopette Deodorant (1947) and the vacuum-sealed containers for packing sausages (1950) (3).

We can also mention milestones in the history of containers such as the development of polycarbonate (1950, by General Electric and Bayer), fully biodegradable plastic (2000, by Symphony) and plastic made from corn (2002, by Corny) (3).

Also, plastic containers are very popular since they are used in many industries: food, agriculture, fishing, transport, construction, electricity, and electronics (4).

A type of plastic for a type of container

How do we know that the plastics in the containers we use for consumer products are not toxic? The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the safety of all plastics currently used in food packaging and food contact materials. A list of approved substances is available in the FDA database.

There are seven types of polymers for plastic containers:

1. PET or PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Soft drink bottles, mineral water, fruit juice, cooking oil.

2. HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)

Milk jugs, cleaning agents, laundry detergents, bleaching agents, shampoo bottles, washing, and shower soaps.

3. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

Trays for candies & fruits, plastic packing (bubble foil), and food foils.

4. LDPE (Low-density polyethylene)

Crushed bottles, shopping bags, highly resistant sacks, and most of the wrappings.

5. PP (Polypropylene)

Luggage, wholesale toys.

6. PS (Polystyrene)

This is the most appropriate and versatile, the best option fortoy manufacturers, hard packing, refrigerator trays, cosmetic bags, costume jewelry, CD cases, vending cups.

7. Other (BPA, Polycarbonate, and LEXAN) (5)

Are you looking for a specific type of polymer and product? We can help you to find the most suitable product for your needs.

If you want to know more about the wholesale toys, we recommend you read the next article: "Wholesale Toys: Why Manufacture and How to Get a Supplier"

Plastic Containers Wholesale: types, compliance, costs l Martin’s Plastics (1)

Alternatives for a changing plastic containers wholesale industry

The plastics industry is now askingwhat we can do as an industry, as brands, to make our need fit into a sustainable economic model. Biodegradable plastics are made from renewable raw materials such as wheat, corn or cornstarch, soybean oil, potatoes, bananas, or cassava (6).

These can be reintroduced into the natural cycle of the environment as organic fertilizer and with a much shorter degradation time than conventional plastics.

There are two types of biodegradable plastics:

  • Bioplastics, obtained from renewable raw materials.
  • Plastics made with biodegradable additives: these are composed of petrochemicals that improve their biodegradation.

If you're interested in avant-garde plastic containers, do not hesitateto contact us.

Plastic Containers Wholesale: types, compliance, costs l Martin’s Plastics (2)

Plastics use has allowed society to make technological advances. But not all of them are suitable to be in contact with food, cosmetics, or medicines.

What is wholesaling?

In general, it is the sale of goods to anyone other than a standard consumer. Wholesaling is the selling of merchandise to anyone other than the end consumer of that merchandise.

Wholesalers don't sell small quantities of goods like retailers. Instead, they sell products in bulk at a low price. The more you buy from a wholesaler, the less per-product you'll end up having to pay (7).

Now, if you look for all the opposite, we recommend you to learn more about retail marketing.

Plastic containers wholesale: The top products

Once we have identified the most appropriate type of plastic for our needs, if our goal is, for example, homemade product containers, we can explore among the most popular options (8):

  • Acrylic Jars
  • Airless Treatment Pumps
  • Container Accessories
  • Cosmetic Jars
  • Cosmetic Trigger Sprayers
  • Deodorant Bottles
  • Dispensing Caps
  • Fine Mist Sprayers
  • Foaming Pump Bottles
  • HDPE Bottles
  • Lids
  • Lip Balm Containers
  • Lotion Pumps
  • Lotion Tubes
  • Malibu Tubes
  • Mini Treatment Pumps
  • Pet bottles
  • Planter Pots
  • Plastic Pails
  • Powder Shaker Bottles
Plastic Containers Wholesale: types, compliance, costs l Martin’s Plastics (3)

Compliance and standard

Plasticmaterials are regulated for food safety, handling, and packaging. These are the major organizations which promulgate standards for products made from plastic:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Regulates materials which may be used in conjunction withfood products.
  • US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Food/Safety & Inspection Service policies practices of theagricultural food industry.
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL) – Is an independent and nonprofit organization to evaluateproduct samples.
  • 3A-DAIRY – Approved plastic materials forstorage containers.
  • NSF International – Standards for direct and/or indirectdrinkable water additives.
  • USP CLASS VI – The US Pharmacopeia (USP) establishes legal, recognized product standards for makingpharmaceutical containers.
  • American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) – This society offers forums for users, producers, and consumers to discuss standards.
  • Agriculture and Agri-foodandHealth Canada– These are counterparts to the USDA and the FDA, respectively. Unlike FDA and USDA policies currently in place, materials may not be self-certified by a manufacturer (9).

Plastic containers are resistant to rubbing, bumps, and falls. Compliance with the regulatory framework for plastics ensures the security of your investment.

What is the cost for plastic containers wholesale?

Investing in plastic containers wholesale is a profitable investment since this is an industry worth almost $198 billion (10).

According to data provided by the National Association of Plastics Industries (Anipac), packaging occupies 48% of the market. Of these, the flexible container has had a growth rate of 105.9% between 2010 and 2020 (10).

In the industry of plastic containers wholesale, price depends on the type of plastic container. Most are injection molded and/or blow-molded. Let's take, for example, PET soda bottles.

According to breaking down by World Energy Outlook Series, the cost varies according to the part of the world where you are, i.e.,

  • Japan is the most expensive place to make plastic bottles at almost 4 cents a bottle,
  • EU is 3.25 cents a bottle,
  • China just under 3 cents,
  • USA is only over 2 cents,
  • The Middle East, 1.75 cents a bottle due to much lower resin and fuel prices (11).

Now, PET soda bottles areinjection moldedas "pre-forms" and then fed into a blow molding machine where they are "blown" into their final shape (11).

This process requires at least two types of molds and two types of machines. A blow mold can cost $5000 - $50,000. An Injection Mold could be in about the same price range. After the initial investment in tooling, the cost per unit could range from $0.15 -$0.65, depending on how many bottles are made at a time (11).

Bottles may also be injection moldedexclusivelybut are less common. This complicated process requires a substantial investment to mass-produce inexpensive parts.

2 cents for a 500 ml bottle

2.5 cents for a 1-liter bottle

2.6 cents for a 2-liter bottle in a 5-million bottle production that runs in 24 hours (11).

Don't forget that the location of the manufacturer is also an essential factor for the cost to raise or lower.

And, if you're interested in some tips to make the right manufacturer choice, just keep reading.

Choosing a manufacturer for plastic containers wholesale

Once you have decided to give a manufacturer a chance, you'll want to be sure about the cost-benefit of your service provider. To make the most appropriate decision making to your business needs, here are some useful considerations to think about and share with your designer/supplier combo:

  • First, make sure you find a company that meets your basic requirements and specific needs. Even a good manufacturer may not be the best one for your purposes.
  • Ask your prospective company if they offer containers in the needed shape, and if they can handle extra processing, you might need, such as folding or stamping.
  • If seeking a combo that includesdesign, make sure your chosen manufacturer has the knowledge and expertise to develop your concept into an innovative, cost-effective solution.
  • Make sure your manufacturer conforms to the regulatory standard that you need.
  • Finally, the reputation of a firm is a critical guide to its performance (9).

A strong relationship with a competent plastic manufacturer is crucial to secure a high-quality product in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Plastic containers and their sealing

The demands of the market need to impose new challenges on buyers and wholesalers. One of these needs, and one of the most recurrent questions is how to seal plastic containers. Each liner has a different sealing purpose and function. Let's talk about the different types of liners and the type of seal they provide.

F217:This liner is comprised of two LDPE discs with a foam core sandwiched in between. Great for prolonged use by the end customer.

PS Liner (PS 22 or PS 21):The PS liner has one side with an adhesive that sticks to the landing of the container when pressure is applied to secure the closure. After 24 hours, when the lid is removed, the PS liner will be sealed to the landing of the container.

Heat Induction Seal or Induction Liner (HIS liner):This is the best around but is also a bit more delicate to apply. This liner needs an Induction sealing machine to make an airtight seal, as well as being adequately paired to the resin type of the container used.

Polycone liner:This liner is almost always matched to a phenolic lid since it's likely the most durable combination you can find for a sure seal.

Plastisol liner:It has an exclusive relationship with metal lids. Plastisol is a PVC gasket that creates an airtight seal with a jar or bottle (12).

The wholesale of plastic containers carries a lot of know-how. Even more, if it involves the design, marketing, and sealing.

Before the demands of the modern world, the wholesale acquisition of plastic containers is undeniably pivotal in many industries, regardless of whether they are small or medium-sized enterprises.

Going hand in hand with an experienced professional is vital in exploring your design, material, and cost options. Making the right decisions will make a difference in the investment/profit ratio.

If you have decided to manufacture your own containers and still have questions about liners, we are eager to be your guide.

Plastic Containers Wholesale: types, compliance, costs l Martin’s Plastics (4)


[1] Arapack. Breve historia de los envases plásticos (in Spanish). Blog Arapack, 2017. Accessed April 8, 2020.

[2] Ángel Roberto. Cronología de los empaques (in Spanish). Historias de Empaques, 2013. Accessed April 7, 2020.

[3] Archivo 2000. ¿Quién inventó el plástico? ¿Cuando apareció el primer plástico? (in Spanish). Blog Archivo 2000, 2013. Accessed April 8, 2020.

[4] María Barbero. La evolución del envase y sus materiales (in Spanish). Blog del Proyecto de Graduación (PG) del estudiante de la Carrera de la Facultad de Diseño y Comunicación, 2020. Accessed April 7, 2020.

[5] Five E Plastic. The 7 Types of Plastic Containers. Blog Five E Plastic, 2020. Accessed April 7, 2020.

[6] Noelia Majón. Plásticos biodegradables: qué son y tipos (in Spanish). Ecología verde, 2019. Accessed April 9, 2020.

[7] Chris Scott. What is retail? What is wholesale? A guide for small business owners. Blog Intuit Quickbooks, 2019. Accessed April 9, 2020.

[8] Chemistry Store. Container & Packaging. Chemistry Store Products, n.d. Accessed April 6, 2020.

[9] IQS Directory. Plastic Container Manufacturers and Suppliers. Blog IQS Directory, n.d. Accessed April 6, 2020.

[10] Vector. Dan a conocer el valor del mercado de envases y embalajes de México en el marco de PLASTIMAGEN ® MÉXICO 2019 (in Spanish). Revista Vector, 2019. Accessed April 15, 2020.

[11] Quora. How much does it cost to manufacture a plastic bottle? Quora, 2017. Accessed April 15, 2020.

[12] Container and Packaging. 5 seals and how they make perfect liners for your container. Blog Container and Packaging, n.d. Accessed April 15, 2020.


How much does it cost to make plastic containers? ›

After the initial investment in tooling, the cost per unit could range from $0.15 -$0.65, depending on how many bottles are made at a time (11). Bottles may also be injection molded exclusively but are less common. This complicated process requires a substantial investment to mass-produce inexpensive parts.

What are Type 7 plastics? ›

Plastic Number 7 is a complex group. It includes all plastic types except for numbers 1 to 6 including PET, HDPE, LDPE, PP, PS, and PVC. Plastic number 7 has a wide range of plastics with many different characteristics. It includes recyclable, non-recyclable, mixed plastics, and biodegradable plastics.

What are the plastic container safety ratings? ›

To make a long story short: plastic recycling numbers 2, 4 and 5 are the safest. Whereas plastic numbers 1, 3, 6 and 7 must be avoided. But it does not indicate that you can fearlessly use safer plastic. All plastic products can leach toxic chemicals when heated or damaged.

What types of plastic are used in containers? ›

Plastic containers are manufactured from a variety of poly chemical compounds.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (or PET/PETE) ...
  • High-density polyethylene, (or HDPE) ...
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) ...
  • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) ...
  • Polypropylene (PP)

How many plastic bottles do you need to make $100? ›

If you can earn between five and ten cents per bottle, to make say, $100, you will need around 1000 bottles. This can be very time consuming. It's also important to know the rules of your local center. For example, some centers want the lids off and even labels, so that's important to understand.

Can you make money with containers? ›

Potential for steady income: Buying, selling and leasing out containers means a regular stream of income. Whether you choose to buy and then sell at a higher price, or lease out your equipment over months or years, you'll make money on the containers you've invested in on a regular basis.

What is Type 8 plastic? ›

Chinese codes for plastics products
8ABAKAcrylonitrile-butadiene-acrylate plastic
9ABSAcrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene plastic
10ACSAcrylonitrile-chlorinated polyethylene-styrene
11AEPDSAcrylonitrile-(ethylene-propylene-diene)-styrene plastic
103 more rows

What is the highest quality plastic? ›

Acetal (Polyoxymethylene, POM): Acetal is a very high tensile strength plastic with significant creep resistant properties that bridge the material properties gap between most plastics and metals. It is known for high resistance to heat, abrasion, water, and chemical compounds.

What are the 4 classification of plastic? ›

Properties and Classifications

Plastics generally categorize as the chemical structure of the polymer base and side chains. The major categories of these classifications include acrylics, polyesters, silicones, polyurethanes and halogenated plastics.

What plastic containers to avoid? ›

Steer clear of polycarbonate (PC #7) to avoid bisphenol-A (BPA). Polycarbonate is a clear hard plastic used in some reusable water bottles, baby bottles, commercial water jugs, and kitchen appliances like automatic coffee makers and food processors. Instead, choose glass or unlined stainless steel for drink containers.

What does 3 mean on plastic containers? ›

3: PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)

PVC is a soft, flexible plastic, so it's used for a huge array of household products. Plastic tubing, kids' toys, plastic trays and furniture are often made out of PVC. PVC products CANNOT be recycled.

What is a Type 5 plastic container? ›

Polypropylene has excellent chemical resistance, is strong, and has the lowest density of the plastics used in packaging. It has a high melting point, making it ideal for hot-fill liquids. In film form it may or may not be oriented, i.e. stretched (Plastics Technology Center).

What is the safest plastic? ›

The safest plastic food storage containers are HDPE, LDPE, and PP plastics. These include juice and milk jugs, grocery bags, bread bags, produce bags, and food storage boxes. Food can be stored in these types of plastic containers without any toxins leaking.

Which plastic does Tupperware use? ›

Most Tupperware products are made of LDPE or PP, and as such are considered safe for repeated use storing food items and cycling through the dishwasher. Most food storage products from Glad, Hefty, Ziploc and Saran also pass The Green Guide's muster for health safety.

What are the 3 most common types of plastic used in the world? ›

The 3 Most Used Plastics & Their Applications
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) PET is one of those plastics that you might come in contact with on a daily basis. ...
  • High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) HDPE is a type of plastic that can withstand high temperatures and strong chemicals. ...
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Jan 10, 2019

How much does it cost to make a plastic product? ›

Injection Molding Cost Overview
Low-Volume ProductionHigh-Volume Production
Material cost$0.5 / part$0.5 / part
Labor costs or outsourcing cost$2.5 / part$1 / part
Total production cost$400$170,000
Cost per part$4$1.7
6 more rows

Is it expensive to make plastic? ›

Plastic is one of the cheapest materials around. So cheap, companies literally give it away as gimmicks and promotions. But the tiny price tag on plastic products ignores a whole lot of costs that are largely invisible, and for which governments, people and the planet are ultimately footing the bill.

How cheap is it to make plastic? ›

Depending on the type of plastic, a kilo of virgin raw material costs pennies and its much cheaper to produce new products than recycling old ones. That´s why manufacturers doggedly use it and why we consumers devour it – its dirt cheap.

Is it cheaper to make plastic than recycle? ›

Recycled plastic costs more than new plastic because collecting, sorting, transporting, and reprocessing plastic waste is exorbitantly expensive.

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