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Introduction to Plastic Packaging

Course Number: 140-0708 (formerly AP3543)
Date: 08/25/2020 - 08/27/2020
Time: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Akron Polymer Training Center, Akron, OH 44325-5404, U.S.A.
Cost: $1,800.00 USD
Online Registration
CEU's: 2.4
Instructor: Ms. Camille Chism

Course Overview

This course is designed to introduce plastic industry students and professionals to packaging engineering.  It provides an overview of the most commonly used plastics in packaging and is composed of three main sections; basic polymers, materials, manufacturing methods, packaging applications by industry, design considerations during package development, and sustainability.  This course focuses on the materials, uses, functions and production processes of plastic packaging. Topics include an industry overview, related applications including; the historical, societal and technological drivers of plastic packaging, how manufacturers select plastic packaging, and why end-users decide on the product/package combination they purchase for their product, as well as the impact these choices make on the entire supply chain, from cradle to grave.  Introduction to Plastic Packaging is a general course in plastic packaging principles, materials, and manufacturing.  Issues in present day plastic packaging, packaging functions and sustainability are covered. Students will develop a basic knowledge of plastic packaging including; materials, manufacturing processes, and applications.  They will gain an understanding of the role of plastic packaging in today’s society to provide a foundation for more advanced packaging courses related to plastics.

Potential Textbook


Plastics Packaging
3rd Edition
ISBN: 9781569904435
Authors Selke and Culter
Publisher: Hanser-Gardner Publications

Course Objectives 

Students, upon completing this course, will be able to:

  • Explain the critical role of plastic packaging.
  • Describe converting operations for plastic packaging materials.
  • Explain plastic packaging materials and their use.
  • Form an opinion on the environmental issues related to packaging and society.
  • Understand current and future trends of plastic packaging.

Instructor Biography:


Camille Chism, CPP Fellow earned an MS in Packaging Science from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BS, Packaging from Michigan State University. A lifetime CPP, inducted into the Institute of Packaging Professionals College of Fellows in 2013, her accomplishments include; a patent for the design of an injection molded dispenser, a published thesis on returnable container management, various local and national packaging industry leadership roles, and corporate awards.

Following 30 years of diverse experience in leadership, instruction, packaging engineering, business development, supply chain management, lean manufacturing, test methodology, and project management, she founded Indigo Packaging and Consulting, LLC, a consultancy specializing in packaging design, e-commerce packaging, supply chain and launch management that enables her to consult and teach.  Additionally, she is an instructor for the Institute of Packaging Professionals and was a guest lecturer for the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and speaks at packaging and supply chain industry events.  Her varied industry experience includes; automotive, food, distribution, pharmaceutical, and technology at Ingersoll Rand, Johnson Controls, Fiat Chrysler, Weyerhaeuser, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies, UPS, ConAgra, HAVI, and Mondelez.

  1. History of Packaging
    • Packaging Functions
    • Contain
    • Protect/Preserve
    • Transport
    • Inform/Sell
    • Dispense
  2. Polymer Principles
    • Introduction to Plastics & Polymers
    • Packaging Polymers
    • Thermal Behavior
    • Thermoplastic and Thermoset Polymers
  3. Manufacturing
    • Resins and Shaping Plastics
    • Extruders
    • Profile Extrusion
    • Injection Molding
    • Extrusion Blow Molding
    • Injection Blow Molding
    • Thermoforming
    • Film and Sheets
    • Other – Spin Welding, 3D, Fabricated Foam
  4. Packaging Designs
    • Requirements
    • Material Selection
    • Industries
  5. Plastic Applications
    • Converting, Production, Properties and Applications Characterizing Plastic Materials
    • Plastic Packaging Types
      • Bags
      • Sheets
      • Trays
      • Tubes
      • Bottles
      • Plastic Closures and Lids
        • Container and Closure Dimensioning
          Closure Seals
        • Injection Molds and Closure Design
        • Tamper-Evident and Child-Resistant Designs
      • Other Plastic Packaging
      • Printing
  6. Design and Innovation
    • Drivers of Packaging Design
    • Elements of Design
    • Design Process
    • What is Innovation
      • Innovation & Design Exercise
  7. Current Trends
    • Material Reduction
    • New materials
    • New packaging
  8. Plastic Packaging and the Environment
    • History
    • Recycle vs. Upcycle
    • Waste, Landfills
    • Worldwide Actions and Impacts
  9. Special Topics
    • e-commerce
    • Biodegradable Plastics
    • New Plastic Technologies
    • Regulations