Since PacTec began over 30 years ago, significant innovations in flexible waste packaging have occurred, creating a large shift in the way waste generators safely transport and dispose of problematic waste streams. You’re no longer restricted to using bulky, heavy, expensive, and difficult-to-manage rigid containers. While rigid containers may have their place in certain applications, the mindset has shifted towards the safety and reliability of flexible waste packaging for most industrial and nuclear waste types.
Let’s put to rest some common misconceptions about flexible waste packaging.
Myth #1: Flexible Waste Packaging is Cheap/Low-Quality
While the upfront costs of flexible waste packaging are far more economical and inexpensive than rigid alternatives, that in no way equates to low quality or inability to perform. While rigid packages are made from very strong and heavy materials, flexible packages utilize some of the highest-rated polymeric materials available.
High tenacity fabrics, heavy denier threads, robust industrial strength zippers and more all compose the construction of PacTec’s bags. Plus, the additional expenses required to pack, transport, and dispose of waste in rigid containers will be substantially more – compounding your total expense.
In addition to the high initial costs of rigid packaging, you cannot overlook consideration of additional costs like manpower, machine-power, storage, and more. These extras can add up to hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in the end. Here’s a scenario to consider:
You could buy 110-gallon steel open head salvage drums at roughly $400 each, whereby a PacTec FIBC can easily accommodate the same capacity as 2 drums for roughly half that price. Both options are both properly rated and certified to handle the waste, can be safely transported according to DOT regulations, but the flexible packaging option will cost a fraction of the rigid.
Additionally, flexible waste packaging is customizable to meet your exact jobsite needs which can be even more cost-effective. Instead of packing small amounts of waste into large, over-sized, heavy containers, you can purchase flexible packaging sized to your exact specifications. By choosing a flexible packaging option, you’ll maximize your investment and eliminate waste in the budget.
Myth #2: Flexible Waste Packaging is Harder to Handle
While it is true that rigid waste containers are easily stackable, measured, and secured for transport, you may not be aware how flexible packaging options also experience these same benefits when used properly. We’ve engineered all our packaging to conform to DOT regulations for safe waste transport, so although the methods for securing them may differ slightly, they offer the same security while on the move.
More importantly, because the weight of the package itself is lighter, flexible packaging often requires less manpower and equipment, so they are easier and safer to deploy and load on site. Plus, many are safely stackable to enable you to maximize hauling volume per load. PacTec has also engineered many flexible packaging options with integrated cardboard sidewalls, which allow the bags to stand open freely while loading, eliminating the need for additional personnel or equipment to hold them open during use.
Then there's the handling of the closure. Most of our flexible packaging solutions utilize zipper closures to easy the process, whereas rigid packaging option need equipment to lift heavy solid lids, require welding or drum clamps or other cumbersome processes.
Storage handling is also a concern for many. Flexible packages are collapsed when shipped to you, fitting many per pallet for optimal storage before use. By comparison, rigid packages consume large footprints in transit and at your location before you can even use them.
Myth #3: Flexible Waste Packaging Cannot Handle High Temperatures
It may seem like rigid containers are better suited for high heat waste simply by their material composition, but by utilizing innovative polymeric fabrics in various layers, flexible packaging is now able to safely accommodate temperatures up to 500° F.
This opens a great deal of options for hazardous waste packaging and other waste streams like fly ash, liquid tar, and other process residuals to utilize flexible packaging options.
Myth #4: Training People to Use Flexible Waste Packaging is Difficult
Teaching workers and team members to use rigid waste containment may seem more straight-forward than flexible, but this is simply not the case. In fact, it’ll take roughly the same amount of time to train someone to properly use either packaging solution. The tasks for setting-up, loading, securing, and hauling flexible packaging also require fewer steps and resources making it easier to teach.
PacTec’s team of engineers has also developed easy-to-follow printed and video instructional guides (many readily available on our YouTube page) to aid in the training process. Our goal is to make your waste hauling efforts easier, safer, and more economical so your business can focus on growth. In fact, we often receive feedback that the packages seem "too easy" to assemble, leaving some customers wondering how they can be as secure. The fact is we've taken great care to eliminate this long-lived pain point while still providing the level of waste security you demand.
We hope this has cleared up those lingering misconceptions about how flexible packaging will not work for your waste stream. We’ll admit that we could be a little biased, but we have seen hundreds of customers make the switch from rigid packaging to flexible over the years with great success and cost savings.
Need to design your own customized packaging products? Get in touch with our PacTec, Inc. team today to learn what we can do for your waste management needs.
Interested in learning more about flexible packaging solutions? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Waste Packaging.