If you head to the grocery store, you'll find a bevy of different packages. Typically, these packages are divvied up into two main categories - rigid packaging and flexible packaging. While everyone seems to have their own definition of what's considered "flexible" when it comes to packaging, generally speaking flexible packages are considered to be the plastic pouches and bags that hold products like salad, shredded cheese, snack foods, juice boxes and certain frozen items. Rigid packaging, on the other hand, is considered to be the boxes and thermoformed plastic containers that helpe packag everything from health and beauty products to food and drinks. Clam shell packaging usually falls into the rigid packaging category, as it is usually made from either rigid plastic or paperboard. When it's created from plastic, it's usually either thermoformed or injection molded.
So just what is clam shell packaging? Specifically, it's a one-piece container, typically but not exclusively made of thermoformed or injection molded plastic, that has two halves which are folded together to protect and package a product. It utilizes a hinge of sorts to complete the open and closing action. It gets its name because it looks and operates similar to that of a clam shell - and you may be surprised at just how often you see and use clam shell packaging in your life. For instance, think of the to-go box that you get from your favorite restaurant when you're taking the rest of your meal home as leftovers - chances are the foam or paper box is a clam shell package. When you order a burger at a fast food joint, the burger may be prepared and presented to you for consumption in a clam shell box. If you buy a bunch of nails at the hardware store, they may come in a clam shell package. And when you purchase things like fresh fruit and produce at the grocery store, it's not uncommon to find things like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries packaged in plastic clam shell containers. Many other markets and industries rely on clam shell packaging, which we'll get into more throughout this piece.
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