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The Glossary of the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the technical terms used in the packaging sector is a database designed to provide updated information on the specific terminology used in the packaging industry. This Glossary is a tool placed at the disposal of users for information only. It is not designed to replace the appropriate professional advice in any way. Users are invited to submit their comments and observations by email to Mr. Frederic Couty, Senior Adviser, Export Packaging at the following email address: fcouty[at]intracen.org
Select an alphabetic above to access the glossary.
warehousing, metal or wooden shelves for storing of merchandise, usually unit
loads on pallets. In retailing, a pegboard or similar system for display or
self-service packages or e.g. specially shaped racks for spices, bottles or
encased in plastic that is attached to packages and other articles for identification
and tracing purposes.
tapered indent in the base of a container by means of which it can be located
and correctly oriented for accurate printing or label placement.
A unit of
quantitative measure used in the marketing of paper (500 sheets).
materials or packages that may be reprocessed into raw materials for
subsequent re-conversion into packages or for secondary purposes.
1. The untrimmed roll of paper that is wound
on the full-width shaft at the paper machine dry end. Also used for other
materials (plastic film, tapes, etc.) wound onto a core.
2. The shaft on which the paper is first wound
when it leaves the dryer.
3. Any core or shaft onto which material is
shape having internal dimensions larger than its aperture and therefore only
achievable by blow-moulding or more complex technology (collapsing cores for
multicolour printing, the extent to which each colour is laid in the correct
position relative to the others and to the dimensions of the material on
which it is printed.
A mark or
symbol used throughout printing production to assist in achieving correct
alignment (register) of images and colours; typically appears as two
perpendicular lines in crossed form centred in a circle or oval.
labeling and over-wrapping operations, the placing of the print/design in
correct orientation relative to the pack faces, especially in the case of irregular-shaped
containers. The container is rotated and a small protrusion (called a
registration or spotting lug) or depression (called a concealed or dimpled
lug)near the base, stops the rotation
when registration is correct.
plastic made out of scrap from a plastic conversion operation. It can usually
be blended with virgin material and remoulded.
widely used type of corrugated or solid fibreboard box used as transport
package. Designated in the International Fibreboard Case Code as box style
whose strength properties have been increased by the addition of
high-strength fibres such as fibreglass imbedded in the material.
of actual humidity to the maximum humidity (weight of water vapour) which can
be retained in an air sample without precipitation at a given temperature and
silicone-coated glassine or kraft paper whose purpose is to serve as a
backing and support for adhesive-coated materials. The silicone coating
prevents the adhesive from sticking to the release paper.
turning or twisting force required to remove a lug cap, screw cap, or
twist-off crown. Usually measured by means of atorque meter.
that can be renewed/replaced, such as wood, and for which production is
therefore sustainable over the long term.
continuous repetition of a printed design on a packaging material or label,
so as to eliminate the need for registration of the print with the package
dimensions on the packing machine (also called repeat design).
container in which empty unit containers are received and intended to be used
as shipping containers for the product packaged in the unit containers.
Any of a
class of solid or semi-solid organic products of natural or
synthetic origin, generally non-crystalline and of high molecular weight
with no definite melting point. Resins are generally water-insoluble and
have little or no tendency to crystallize. However, certain resins used in
packaging, such as polyvinyl alcohols and polyacrylates, are readily
dispersible in water, and others, such as polyamides and polyvinylidene
chloride are readily crystallised.
suitable for retail distribution of consumer units of a product.
pressurised container used for heat sterilization of packaged foodstuffs. In
a balanced pressure retort, the pressure within the retort is kept in balance
with that inside the heated containers, to minimize the internal/external
pressure differences and resultant stresses on the container walls.
flexible pouch, usually made with aluminium foil laminates, filled with a
food product and designed to withstand the temperature and pressures of
processing in a pressure-balanced retort.
container designed for return to the filler of the product it contains, to be
refilled with the same product. See also: Deposit.
container which, when emptied, can be used to package either the same or
on the inside surface of a transparent film so that the printing is visible
in reversed form when it is viewed from the outside. Results in a high-gloss
print appearance and protection of the ink from scuffing and abrasion.
silhouette characterized by the top of the closure being larger in diameter
than the open end.
that can be used with either of its faces upwards.
again; especially the winding of a roll of paper, film or other flexible
packaging material after printing, slitting, etc. To transfer to other rolls,
usually smaller, after slitting, etc.
material that has been reprocessed, after having been previously processed by
molding, extrusion, etc., in a converter’s plant. Use of re-worked material
in packaging applications is normally limited to clean plastic that has been
generated from the converter's own production, meets the requirements
specified for the virgin material, and yields a product of essentially the
same quality as one made only from virgin material.
non-flexible package that has a fixed shape and retains that form whether
full or empty.
defective container characterized by an uneven or bulging bottom that permits
A test for determining hardness of
steel and tinplate, used as a guide in determining plate temper and
suitability for metal packaging applications.
polyethylene rods are used particularly in the drug and cosmetic industries.
One of the most common is a balled-end rod for touch applying medicines.
quantity of material supplied in web form, such as paper, film, or aluminium
foil when wound into cylindrical form on a shaft or core.
closure for glass and rigid plastic bottles. A plain metal shell, normally
aluminium, is placed over the threaded finish of the bottle and its skirt is
pressed against the threads byrollers
that press the metalto make it
conform to the thread shape. Threads are thus formed on the shell so that it
becomes a screw cap. A continous, breakable ring can also be formed at the
rim of the cap, to provide a tamper-evident (not in fact pilfer proof- PP)
printing with a thin, quick-drying ink from a cylindrical etched roller (see
cushioning material produced by bonding curled animal hairs with latex rubber
which is then vulcanized and cut into sheets.
rubber sheet into which the reverse of the design to be printed is impressed
by etching or sculpting techniques. Variants of this plate are used in flexographic and in dry offset printing.
packs to be producd or filled during a productionrun before change over to a different
pack/product configuration; number of copies to be printed during a print
enclosed channel taking molten plastic from the extruder to an injection
mould. For multi-cavity moulds, the multiple runners required may be
heatedto keep the plastic fluid and
are referred to as ‘hot runners’.
chemical agent contained in a coating material which is applied to metal
surfaces to prevent or reduce rusting. See also: Corrosion.