The Art of Packaging

2 Things You Must Know About Sampling

2 Things You Must Know About Sampling

When I hear the word "sample" I immediately think about walking up and down the aisles at Costco and trying various food items from yogurt to oven-baked frozen treats. It's a delicious experience that leaves me wanting more (although usually not badly enough to actually purchase the product...).

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The Plastic Resin Shortage of 2021

The Plastic Resin Shortage of 2021

We are living in interesting times, that is obvious.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives.  From masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing - it's easy to see that we do things differently these days. 
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What is Polypropylene?

What is Polypropylene?

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic which is a polymer that can be molded at a certain temperature and solidified once cooled.  Polypropylene is used in many different ways. Some common uses include consumer product packaging (plastic jars),  toys, car dashboards, medical syringes, and many others.
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Can Plastic Jar And Bottle Lids Be Recycled?

Can Plastic Jar And Bottle Lids Be Recycled?

Every plastic container has some type of cap or closure. It’s usually a safe bet that the container can be recycled but what about the lid? Well, most caps are made from polypropylene which has a resin code of “5”.  This means that it is recyclable.
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What is a dip tube and how do you measure it?

What is a dip tube and how do you measure it?

A dip tube is the plastic tube found in plastic sprayers and pumps.  It's important because it's the way by which the product travels from the container and out into the world. Without it your lotion wouldn't end up in your hand. 
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Lotion Pumps: All you need to know

Lotion Pumps: All you need to know

There are a few things that really get me pumped. Some of those things are Ben & Jerry's Phish Food Ice Cream, college football and a Garth Brooks concert. But this post isn't about what gets me pumped.  It's about lotion pumps. So let's get pumped about pumps! Pumps are made to dispense viscous liquids.  Viscous means thick, sticky and somewhere in between a solid and a liquid.  This could mean lotion, soap, honey, etc. Like all great liquid products it's important that they be dispensed properly.  You wouldn't think of dispensing lotion with a fine-mist sprayer or just pouring soap out of a bottle.  One of the most common ways to dispense these products is out of a bottle with a pump. You probably haven't thought too much about a lotion pump.  You know what one is and you know its function but you probably haven't considered the different parts of the pump.  Let me explain.  I'll take it from the top.

Pump Parts


The actuator - The actuator is the top part of the pump that you push down on to dispense whatever viscous substance is inside the container.  It's what allows the pump to operate. It's common that the actuator will feature a locking mechanism so that the product isn't accidentally dispensed during shipping or travel.  Lotion pumps can either be locked in the upward or downward position.  Actuators are typically made from polypropylene (PP) which is a very durable plastic.

The closure - This is the part of the pump that screws onto the bottle.  Lotion pump closures are either ribbed or smooth.  A ribbed closure is easier to open because the little grooves allow for a better grip for your lotion-covered fingers.

The housing - The housing is the main pump assembly that keeps pump components (piston, ball, spring, etc.) in the right position and sends fluids into the actuator.

Interior components - The interior components are found inside the pump housing.  They are made up of a variety of parts including a spring, ball, piston, and/or stem that transfer the product from the container through the dip tube into the actuator.

Dip tube - The dip tube is the tube that extends down into the container.  The liquid travels up the tube and out the pump.  It's important that the length of the dip tube matches the height of the bottle.  If the tube is too short, you're going to have product that you won't be able to dispense with the pump.  If the tube is too long then it likely won't screw down on the bottle.  If you've found the pump you like but the dip tube doesn't match the height of your bottle, Citadel Packaging provides dip tube cutting or dip tube replacement services. That's right. If the tube is too short, we can swap it out with one that fits.  

Pump Output


The pump's output is typically measured in cubic centimeters (cc) or milliliters (mL). The output tells you how much liquid is dispensed with each pump.  Pumps come in a wide variety of output options.   Still have questions about lotion pumps? Give us a call! Or you can order samples of our items so that you can find the perfect pump for your application.

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What Is A Pressure Sensitive Liner?

What Is A Pressure Sensitive Liner?

So you’ve been doing some research about which closures will work best for your product and you have quite a few questions. Do I need a liner? If I need a liner, should I get a foam liner or a pressure sensitive liner? It’s not an easy problem to solve. But that’s why we’re here. Let us help!
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Plastic Jars With Lids?

Plastic Jars With Lids?

Silly question? Maybe. Let me explain. If you’re buying a plastic jar, chances are you’re going to want a lid to go with it. It just makes sense. You’re going to put some type of product (lotion, cream, etc.) in the jar and you want it to stay in the jar. Also, most plastic jars come with threading at the top so that a lid can screw on it and leaving that exposed would just look weird. Lids (lined or unlined) can also create a barrier that preserves and protects the product.
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Before There Were Plastic Bottles

Before There Were Plastic Bottles

This is the first blog post and so history is being made.  Speaking of history, let’s journey back to a time before plastic bottles.   (I know it’s hard to believe but such a time actually existed.) Don’t worry, this trip won’t be too long because we only have to travel to the 1940s.

Before plastic bottles existed, liquids were distributed in either glass or ceramic bottles. You’ve all seen glass milk bottles and glass soda bottles. It’s less common today but that’s how liquids were packaged and distributed.  Even shampoo came in glass bottles!  Seems a little dangerous…

One event that really ignited plastic packaging took place in 1935 with the invention of polyethylene (PE) in England.  The material was used in World War II for coating military communication wires and paper wrappings for small arms.  When the war was over the demand for polyethylene products dramatically decreased.

Two inventors, Enoch Ferngren and William Kopitke, found another use for the plastic when they mimicked the process of glass blow molding..  They invented the first plastic blow molding machine and sold it to the Hartford Empire Company in 1937.  Plastic was still a new material at the time but it started to take hold in the packaging industry.

As more people experimented with different chemicals more plastics were created. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to name a few.  These new plastics created a lower-cost and lower-weight alternative to glass.  Plastic containers had proven that they were here to stay.

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