Initially, we warn our customers that the actual quantity of products produced will differ by ±5-10% from the number in the order. This discrepancy is due to peculiarities of technological process of making plastic bags with the customer's logo.
For each stage of production, a certain stock of raw materials and materials is put to adjust the equipment and reject at subsequent stages of technological process. In the process of raw materials extrusion and blowing, more film is produced, which will be rejected during flexographic printing or at welding and handle cutting stages. The number of rejected bags depends on features of bag design and complexity of the applied pattern.
Thus, at the end of technological chain, there are fewer bags, the exact number of which is difficult to predict. If more bags are produced from the declared one, we ask the customer to purchase the number of packages that were produced in excess, and if a smaller number is produced, then you will pay the actual cost according to accompanying documents.
In fact, we can make such a number of bags, but their cost will be very high.
The increase in costs at such production is associated with a higher cost of flexographic plates for full-color printing on the flex-machine with central shaft (as compared to the cost of printing plates on the section-type flexographic machine), complexity of setting up of flexographic equipment, its cost in general, and so on.
In addition, we try to provide the lowest prices on the market, so we take into work circulation of a certain weight in order.
This is mainly due to the fact that cliches require special storage conditions and must be protected from mechanical damage, light, weathering, and so on. Do not forget that flexographic plates have an unpleasant sharp smell. There have been cases when a client kept cliches in his own inappropriate conditions and next circulation had printing defects. We have all necessary conditions for storage of flexographic plates and are fully responsible to the client for safety and working condition of cliches.
The main advantage of such storage is that it gives us the opportunity to run the next circulation at the request of the client, taking into account the total production load.
Flexographic plates or photopolymer cliches are special cliches, with the help of which dye is applied from pallets of dye sections of flexographic machine onto plastic film. Cliches are made from a photosensitive polymer. The number of flexographic plates is made depending on how many colors will be applied to the film. For example, when drawing an image with a color of 3 + 3 (three colors on each side of the bag), you need to make 6 photopolymer cliches. Today, flexographic plates are made using laser engraving, thereby achieving high image detail when printing on a bag.
The price of flexographic plates depends on number of cliches and on size of plates themselves (the size of pattern that will be applied on each color separately on the film, plus area for sticking the cliche itself onto the shaft). On average, one set of cliches can print up to 1 million prints, but the applied pattern should not change. Life of flexographic plates is from 3 to 5 years.
You can see what a cliche looks like on the slider called “multicolor flex printing” (red cliche).
This is primarily due to the cost of materials, resources and time during reconfiguration of equipment.
When each new batch of bags is launched, time is spent on retrofitting the extruder (reaching the required size and thickness), the flexographic machine (sticking cliches and replacing dyes from previous order with a new one), the bag making machine (sticking new Teflon coating on a solder unit, preparing packaging material, refilling film in the machine) and so on. Loss of materials during setup is a defect of the extruder that needs to be further processed or sold at a lower price than the initial cost of materials, replacement of filters, solvent evaporation and paints, etc.
Thus, with small circulation, costs increase, and accordingly the price per unit of products with small circulation is higher. With large circulation, the unit cost is lower, because costs per unit of products are significantly reduced.
A bright package with chocolates, the rustling of which caused indescribable delight in childhood, a bag with gifts for parents and little sister, on which the entire first salary was spent – what associations does such a familiar and conventional plastic one evoke in moments of nostalgia?
However, each of us really has his history with this type of containers and packaging. Older generation still remember how proud where women of fashion when they wore incredibly valuable and scarce D cut bags with handles. People took care of those bags, washed them and sealed with tape, since it was almost impossible to get a new one. These times have long become our common history. And it began long before the occurrence of casual T-shirt bag, D cut bag and loop bag.
Polyethylene package is a soft packaging. The history of its invention is closely related to food. Our distant ancestors in ancient times ate their prey immediately, usually on the spot. However, later it became necessary to carry and transport food. Plant leaves and animal skins were used for this for a long time.
The inventive Chinese wrapped their breakfasts and dinners in mulberry bark. By the way, in about 200 B.C., they started making paper from it – another iconic thing for the history of packaging.
And in 1844, production of paper packages began in England. They were comfortable, but not strong enough, and even very expensive. At the beginning of the 20th century, expensive and impractical cellophane was invented.
But only the occurrence of polyethylene was a revolutionary breakthrough in this area. They began to make plastic packages from it, which increased shelf life of products, saved retailers money and made life easier for consumers.
1899 – German chemist Hans von Pechmann obtained from diazomethane under the action of boron hybrids when heated a saturated cyclic carbon with a closed chain – linear polymethylene with a long chain of methylene group - CH2-. In terms of properties, it was very close to HDPE (low pressure polyethylene). However, at that time it was a rather dangerous experiment. And an inert solid made from gas found no use.
1933 – Eric Fawcett and Reginald Gibson in the laboratory of ICI (UK) worked to simplify the preparation of phenylethyl ketone. To do this, they heated benzaldehyde with ethylene under a pressure of 1900 atmospheres at 170 °C. And the result was a solid substance, similar to the hardened wax. This was the first polyethylene. However, they could not repeat the result of the experiment – instead of the expected polymerization reaction, the mixture exploded and decomposed into carbon and hydrogen, not giving a stable compound.
1939 – Michael Perrin, then working at the same ICI company, decided to sort out the mistake of his colleagues. He succeeded the first time. But then the scientist was in for a failure – the polyethylene resulted from the experiment also turned out to be an inexplicable miracle. Repeated experiments failed, no solid was formed. Later it turned out that the reason was the concentration of oxygen, which scientists did not take into account. Further, polyethylene began to be produced on an industrial scale, but at first only for production of cables and military radars, which is why the strategic technology was classified.
1950s – T-shirt bag appears at Sainsbury's in the UK.
1957 – in the USA, production of polyethylene packaging for bread, sandwiches, and then for vegetables, fruits, and other filling began.
1965 – Celloplast (Sweden) patented a plastic T-shirt bag for shopping. It had a decent carrying capacity, was durable and comfortable, so it began to enjoy enormous demand. Soon the monopolist builds plants and begins to produce bags in Europe and the USA.
1976 – the leading US company Mobil found a loophole in the legislation and patented its technology for the production of packages in the USA, depriving Celloplast of its monopoly. However, they immediately seemed uncomfortable and evoked no enthusiasm with the Americans, since they had to lick their fingers in order to stick them up and open.
1979 – plastic packages have about 80% of the European market, practically displacing paper ones.
1982 – two of the largest supermarket chains in the USA, Kroger and Safeway, switch to plastic. Soon, everyone else follows them.
1991 – Sainsbury's retail chain packages get the inscription reading “Sainsbury's. Where good food costs less. A penny will be given to you each time this bag is re-used in Sainsbury's”. Oh, yes! Exactly the same we have used until today. Customers were actually paid for coming to the store again with their old package and not buying a new one.
2011 – marketers estimated that 1 million plastic T-shirt bags are used every minute in the world.
2018 – information appeared in one of the UN reports that every minute the world's population uses 10 million bags, up to 5 trillion annually.
Since the onset of affordable plastic package, a war has begun between the two types of soft packaging.
“People are fond of the old paper bag. It's as American as the flag and apple pie and all those other red white and blue cliches”. Peter Bunten, an employee of one of the US paper institutes, told the New York Times in 1984.
By that time, everything was already made of plastic: packaging for bakery products, eggs and meat products. And only paper grocery package remained the last indestructible stronghold of conservative supermarkets.
But soon it gave up too. At first, however, not without the Flexible Packaging Association involved. The Association has made a great contribution to popularization of soft packaging. And even created a special Council for Public Relations for this. FPA (Flexible Packaging Association) conducted trainings where sellers were taught how to use the new product and use it correctly.
And soon sellers and buyers themselves got so used to T-shirt bag, D cut bag and loop bag so that no one wanted to part with them anymore.
In fact, production of plastic bags does not destroy, but saves our planet. The fact is that paper packaging industry harms the environment much more. Still think it's vice versa?
1. National Geographic magazine of the National Geographic Society published information that production of paper bags consumes 2 times more electricity (according to other foreign sources – 4 times) than production of plastic ones.
2. According to the Department of Environmental Quality, in Michigan, a “safe” paper bag consumes 3 times more water. Furthermore, pollution of water resources increases 50 times.
3. HowStuffWorks Science website wrote in one of the articles in one of the articles that paper production pollutes the environment with harmful emissions into the atmosphere by 70% more, while greenhouse gases are emitted by 80% more. All this causes vast harm to the environment.
4. Making paper from waste paper is even more damaging to the planet. To process recyclable materials, you have to spend more than 15 tons of water and 0.5 kW of electricity. At the same time, 21 g of waste is emitted into the atmosphere during manufacture of 1 kg of paperPolyethylene package alone causes minimal harm to nature. Humanity just needs to address the problem of its collection and processing in order to live in harmony with nature and not harm ourselves, the animal world and future generations.