In Packaging, PDA Stories, News & Events

Packaging can be a confusing business. There is such a breadth of terms and applications that sometimes things can get muddled. At PDA we believe in knowledge sharing in our community and within the industry. Our goal is to always provide information to make packaging clear, relevant, effective. In this article we’re sharing some of the most popular terms in packaging that are often misunderstood.


When the product is partially or fully derived from renewable sources. Biobased plastics, a type of bioplastic, are typically made from algae, corn, or sugarcane.  (Berry Global)

Circular economy

An industrial economy that promotes resource efficiency as an alternative to the traditional linear economy of “take, make, use, dispose” production. The circular economy aims to extract maximum value from each resource used, at each stage in its lifecycle, then to recover and reuse these materials at the end of the resources’ serviceable life. (Berry Global)

Connected Packaging

Connected packaging (also called smart packaging) is capable of direct communication with a smart device through integrated technologies such as Quick Response (QR) codes or Near Field Communication (NFC) tags. (The Boxmaker)

Contract Packaging

Contract Packaging is the complete process of assembling a product or good into its final finished packaging. It occurs when one company hires another company (the contract packager) to produce its packaging. A Contract Packaging company may have specialized equipment and expertise needed for a particular packaging operation. (Global Vision)


A dieline in is a 2D template of your packaging that shows where everything will be printed, folded, and cut. Think of this like a blueprint of your print job before your order is sent to be manufactured. (PackMojo)

Flexible Packaging

Flexible material, such as paper or foil, used to form packaging for items such as bags, pouches, or envelopes. (The Boxmaker)


Flexography is a form of printing that utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is often referred to as ‘surface printing’, ‘rotary printing’ or ‘modern letterpress printing’, and is commonly used for printing on packaging and other uneven surfaces. Flexography is often used with many different kinds of substrates to produce things such as printed paper, food and beverage labels, and other types of products. (Global Vision)

Injection Molding

A molding procedure whereby a heat-softened plastic material is forced from a cylinder into a relatively cool cavity giving the article the desired shape. (Berlin Packaging)


ISO stands for The International Organization for Standardization. It is an independent, non-governmental organization that facilitates world trade by providing common standards among nations. These standards range from manufacturing to technology, and aid in the creation of products that are safe, reliable, and good quality. (Global Vision)


A concept in the industry where the product is built to be as light as possible while still fulfilling its requirements. This is a method used to reduce its raw material content and carbon footprint. It uses less material and requires less fuel to transport, thus releasing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. (Berry Global)

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)

A form of wireless communication that incorporates the use of electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically-stored information. (


The process of using integrated software and technologies to monitor the progress of finished goods or raw material through the supply chain, usually in or near real-time. (The Boxmaker)

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