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Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also refers to the process of designing, evaluating, and producing packages. Packaging can be described as a coordinated system of preparing goods for transport, warehousing, logistics, sale, and end use. Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells. In many countries it is fully integrated into government, business, institutional, industrial, and personal use.
Packaging may be of several different types. For example, a transport package or distribution package can be the shipping container used to ship, store, and handle the product or inner packages. Some identify a consumer package as one which is directed toward a consumer or household.
Custom packaging is an evolutionary use of modern materials. Thermoforming and vacuum forming allow for expanded capabilities for large trays, displays, and specialty needs. Thermoforming is a method which uses vacuum, heat, and pressure to form the desired material into a shape determined by its mold. This type of packaging is often used by the cosmetic and medical industry.
Packaging may be described in relation to the type of product being packaged: medical device packaging, bulk chemical packaging, over-the-counter drug packaging, retail food packaging, military materiel packaging, pharmaceutical packaging, etc.