Plastic trays' versatility & their ease of customization make them great for internal use.

Plastic trays are a highly versatile style of packaging design. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be made from a wider range of plastics than any other type of packaging. This versatility makes them advantageous for everything from highly secure medical packaging to simple trays for dividing up tools, gemstones, or party snacks. This flexibility isn’t the only advantage that plastic trays can offer, though—they are a popular choice in different industries for a variety of reasons.

Plastic Trays are Highly Customizable

Plastic trays are highly customizable, whether you need a tight fit for your product or a wide-open design. For example, trays are a common choice for medical packaging, because they can be molded to tightly grip products, like syringes. This design can also be seen in consumer products, like the plastic trays that hold magic markers. Products like these simply snap into place, and are held tightly enough that the tray can lay flat or stand up on its side without spilling its contents. This tight fit also means that products can be stored without the need for a blister card.

Conversely, plastic trays can also be designed to hold and divide bulk items, like in party trays for finger foods or trays that collect small hardware like nuts, washers, and screws. Even chocolates come served in plastic trays, which keep each individual piece separated and prevent jostling in the cardboard box.

Trays are Popular for Internal Use

While plastic trays are not always well-suited for retail use—they are typically more expensive than blister packaging and frequently not transparent—they are often chosen for internal use, like shipping products. This is because trays provide the custom fit and durability that your product requires to stay protected during shipping and storage. They are particularly useful for assembly work, or for sorting and containing products during shipping from department to department.

Whether designed for medical packaging, food, art supplies, tools, or anything else, plastic trays do present a unique challenge to the manufacturer: the need for precision. While some trays have more leeway than others, those that tightly grip their contents must be manufactured with the utmost precision—even a few thousandths of an inch could prevent them from doing their job.