• plastic insert trays
  • plastic insert trays
  • plastic insert trays

Plastic Insert Trays

  • Customize a variety of shapes, sizes, colors at low volume
  • Different gauge materials to keep your cost low or reusable packaging
  • Over 10 years’ experience in manufacturing plastic insert trays

Plastic insert trays are a kind of thermoformed plastic inserts. They are perfect for cosmetic and beauty products, tools, medical and dental instruments, retail, electronics, and food industry.

Plastic insert trays are designed to be insertions into shipping boxes with clear window. You will find it’s a popular packaging for chocolate, gifts or toys.

Meanwhile, Elsepack plastic insert trays are applied to display, organize tools and precious parts inside an outer container effectively.

Elsepack plastic insert trays provide your product best protection and keep them in place before being inserted into a clear plastic box packaging, clamshell, or carton box.

Our design teams can also create plastic insert trays standing alone without outer packaging to help you get the best display value.

These plastic insert trays are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors to match your outer packaging.

Like a carton insert with several pockets or dividers, transport trays to handle tools effectively, and in-store shelf trays.

Custom-made plastic insert trays materials are available in disposable and reusable according to your requirements.

The most common materials are PVC and PET. Such plastic insert trays are used for bakery packaging, craft packaging. Our plastic insert trays come in clear and several colors.

That’s different from dunnage tray and ECP plastic trays which are mostly made of black heavy materials; plastic insert trays always are made of transparent.

Elsepack plastic insert trays can also be made of food and medical grade materials to meet our customers’ needs.

We can provide testing reports to assure you the high quality.

You can choose thinner gauge material for throwaway plastic insert trays to keep your costs lower.

Otherwise, we can provide heavier and more durable plastic insert trays for your repeated use.

Durable plastic insert trays are in applications of industries, electronic and consumer products.

Our plastic insert trays can be customized in single division and several divisions.

We are a full-service plastic insert trays manufacturer, offering design, in-house tooling and thermoforming.

So we can provide cost-effective design, and bring high quality plastic insert trays for you.

With Elsepack, you can enhance the visibility of your products. Elsepack design engineers’ team will work together with you to develop a packaging solution that will meet all your specific needs.

Furthermore, Elsepack customize your plastic inserts at low volume, so you don’t have to worry about buying stock on the spot because of the small amount.

So tell us your design or even an idea, and our experienced designer team here will create excellent plastic insert trays from look to fit.

Item NamePlastic Insert Trays
MaterialPP, PVC, RPET, PET, PS, etc.
FeaturedAny in-house pattern and mould design
Sample ChargeFree
Production Time 7-15 days
Payment Term T/T ,L/C, etc.


Plastic Insert Trays: The Ultimate Guide

Plastic insert trays are a convenient way of packing and transporting your products. It uses special features to handle your product, protecting it against hazards safely.


In this guide, we take a look at everything that you need to understand concerning plastic insert trays.

This includes the uses and the fabrication process of plastic insert trays.

Have a look.

Uses of Plastic Insert Trays

Plastic insert trays are of different applications in various sectors. Key among these uses include:


· Medical Industry

Plastic insert trays play a crucial role in the storage and shipment of medical equipment and accessories. Here, they are used to protect these products from damage, especially sensitive parts.

You can also use in protecting medical equipment from dirt, which would otherwise affect their suitability.

Such equipment includes optical lenses, surgery tools and certain medicines.

· Electronic Industry

There are several electronic parts which rely on plastic insert trays for safe storage and transportation. Products such as bulbs and thermostats are fragile and hence need to use plastic insert trays.

The plastic insert materials used in this case are of anti-static and static dissipative features.

· Automation Industry

This is a relatively new area that utilizes plastic insert trays. In the automation industry products such as robotic arms make use of these trays in various ways.

For instance, these trays have distinctive characteristics that allow for identification between the robotic arm and robotic eye.

This way, the proper location of the robotic arm is quite easier during the automation process.

· Cosmetics Industry

This is yet another industry that utilizes plastic insert industry. Here the use of plastic insert trays helps in making the product visible and attractive apart from the standard protection and storage role.

Various cosmetic products ranging from beauty products such as nail polish and facial beauty enhancers utilizes these plastic insert trays.

· Food/Produce Industry

Plastic insert trays are a common feature in certain food and produce industry. Here, they are used to safely package products.

Apart from packaging products, plastic insert trays help in the preservation of food and produce. Also, these trays attract potential clients to these products.

Such products include cookies, kiwi and fruits.

Best Materials for Plastic Insert Trays

Generally, there are different material for manufacturing plastic insert trays. However, the following materials make the best plastic insert trays.



The use of PVC material for plastic insert trays offers a wide range of benefits. For instance, it is a cost-effective material, which means these plastic insert trays are cheaper.

The web- forming feature of this material makes it attractive. Also, the advantage of this material is it incorporates the push through the effect that allows easy opening.

Push through effect allows for the use of pressure that collapses the web opening it. A multilayer of PVC forms the backbone structure of these trays.

Among the limitations of this material is that it has a high chlorine level making it an environmental hazard.

Also, plastic insert trays of this material are not that watertight or airtight. This makes them not ideal for water and air-sensitive products.

However, this material can be coated with other substances such as PVDC to make it water and airtight.


PET material allows for a wide range of applications due to its durability and strength nature. It is also a cost-effective material for manufacturing of plastic insert trays.

Among its attractive features include pressure resistance, lightweight and clarity. Such features allow for a wide range of applications.

On the environmental aspect, this material helps in environmental management since it is easy to recycle.

· PP

If the insert plastic trays are for use with products with intense heat, then this is the best option. Products commonly here include automotive products, food and medicine.

The PP material offers recyclability, which makes it an eco-friendly material since it minimizes on waste.

Also, in case of damages on the plastic insert trays, this material allows for an easy way of repairing them. This increases their life cycle, ensuring maximum usability.


RPET material is ideal for fabrication of insert plastic trays for use in the cosmetics, automation industry and food industry. This is due to the durability and strength that this material offers.

This material is also environmentally safe because it has a lower carbon footprint. It also allows for recyclability, thereby reducing plastic waste.

· PS

Formation of this material takes place through styrene polymerization. Styrene is a naturally occurring compound found in different foods such as cinnamon and coffee.

Ideally, PS material, which is available in different types, is of common use in the manufacture of clear plastic insert trays. The limitation of this type of trays is that they are highly flammable.

As such, handling and storing of products in these trays and the trays themselves should not be near the fire. It is ideal for packing products such as consumable foods, automation parts and medical products.

Benefits of Clear Plastic Insert Trays

Plastic insert trays offer a wide range of benefits to the users. These benefits include:

· Cost-effective

Clear plastic insert trays provide a cheaper option of handing products than other means of handling different products.

This is because they are more inexpensive to manufacture than another type of insert trays.

· Safety

Clear plastic insert trays offer protection to products against external elements that may destroy their physical or chemical properties.

This way, the products therein will always remain in the same property as it was packed.

Clear plastic insert trays also offer a perfect opportunity to handle products properly during either the transportation or storage process.

· Reusability

You can recycle plastic insert trays to other products once their lifespan is over. The advantage of this is that you can conserve the environment as well as effectively utilize resources.

Also, these insert trays are not for single-use; you can easily clean them and reuse for packaging other products.

· Efficiency

Through the use of plastic insert trays, you can work efficiently. This is because there is a better organization for your working environment.

· Longevity

Plastic insert trays don’t easily break or get damaged due to external factors such as high temperature. As a result, you can use these trays for a longer time without having to replace them.

In the long run, you can save cash.

· Display/visibility

When you use plastic insert trays with open window boxes, they enhance product display as well as visibility. In this case, you are able to attract potential clients to your products.

The long term effect of this is that it ends up increasing product sales translating into profits.

Why Use Anti-Static Plastic Insert Trays

Among the benefits of using anti-static plastic trays include:

· Prevention of Electrostatic Discharge

Electrostatic discharge is bad news for your products since it can cause severe damages when you pack them on static plastic insert trays.

Products which are susceptible to static discharges include electronics and electronic equipment.

There is a minimal risk that occurs to products through the use of anti-static plastic insert trays.

· Minimizing Dust Buildup

Electronic discharge has a high attraction to bacteria, dirt and dust. Such particles can be destructive to your products, especially in electronic products.

Anti-static plastic insert trays reduce electronic discharge, which in turn prevents dirt and dirt from accumulating on the products.

· Increases Product Durability

An anti-static plastic insert helps to prolong the life span of your product by minimizing electronic discharge.

This way, dirt and dust which would have affected the quality of your product are limited.

· Enhances Product Appearance

Anti-static plastic inserts help in improving the appearance of your product, making them attractive.

You can customize your plastic insert trays to enhance its appearance, which goes a long way in making the product attractive.

· Reduces Static Shock

Remember, the main reason for using anti-static plastic insert trays is to help reduce electronic discharges.

These discharges can result in a static shock to those handling the product.

Limitations of Plastic Insert Trays

The use of plastic insert trays comes with a few flaws. Key among these limitations are:

i. Packing Products

There is a limitation to the products you can pack using plastic insert trays. For instance, heavy products are not ideal for packing using these trays.

ii. Environmental Waste

Plastic insert trays are not biodegradable meaning disposing of them without proper consideration is a significant environmental hazard.

This results in the need for other environment-friendly trays.

A good plastic insert trays manufacturer should be the ISO 14000 certified.

iii. Costly

Plastic insert trays are costly to manufacture than other biodegradable plastic insert trays. You need to consider the financial aspect before selecting them for your packaging.

Plastic Insert Trays Design Consideration

There are several considerations manufacturers consider when designing your plastic insert trays. Key among these considerations include:


· Nesting

Nesting offers an easy option for packaging and transportation of the plastic insert trays. It is a feature that allows for empty plastic insert trays to fit inside each other.

This helps in minimizing space and allows for easy transportation.

· Engraving

If you want additional decoration on the plastic insert trays, then this is a feature you need to consider. It allows for engraving of the company logo, name or even numbering of the plastic insert trays.

It helps in easy identification, numbering as well as enhancing customer appeal.

· Cover Option

For the safety of the plastic insert trays, it is vital to consider the best covering option, for instance, having lids.

Covering helps in maintaining the quality of your products as well as avoiding any contamination that may occur, such as dirt and dust.

· Handling Option

Consider having a handling option on your plastic insert trays. This helps in offering a safe and easy way of moving your products from one point to another.

An effective handling option assists you in minimizing damages on your products due to poor handling of your products. Your plastic insert trays should be able to offer an easy pick up mechanism.

This helps in protecting the products that are inside these plastic insert trays.

Thermoforming Plastic Insert Trays (For Standard and Custom Plastic Insert Trays)

Thermoforming plastic insert trays involves several simple steps and procedures. These include:

1. Designing of Plastic Insert Tray

This is the initial step towards thermoforming plastic insert rays. It involves coming up with how you want the plastic trays to appear.

It includes the thickness of the plastic insert trays, their shape and size. If you have a custom design, you may want to give it the manufacturer at this point.

In certain instances when designing the plastic insert trays, you can make a product mold to avoid tray lacing.

2. Clamping

Clamping involves holding the plastic insert trays in position in the thermostat machine. It is used to prevent accidental damages arising from the popping of the materials during later stages

This helps in protecting the handler.

3. Heating

The next step is heating of the material uniformly to get the best results. This utilizes heaters which are on the sides of the thermostat machine.

Remember, it is necessary that there is uniform heating of the material for you to obtain the best plastic insert trays. For you to achieve this, you need to heat the material over a series of different heat temperatures.

4. Sheet Level

A photo-electric beam is used to ensure that the sheet formed through heating of the material is of uniform thickness. In case the is a difference in the thickness, air blows from the machine to normalize this anomaly.

5. Pre-stretching

In this step, the molten plastic is pre-stretched to allow the application of the vacuum. It is a crucial step when there is the formation of the hollow section of plastic insert trays.

The method of regulating the height of the bubble should be in a way that ensures continuous uniform results.

You can use vacuum air pressure or optional aids to help in moulding the molten plastic.

6. Vacuum

After pre-stretching, there is the application of a vacuum that helps in the sheet formation. Use a dry vane vacuum pump to extract trapped air between the mould and the sheet.

As a recommendation, use a vacuum pump that can maintain the differential pressure to around 27”.

7. Plug Assist

Plug Assist refers to the process of forcing the material to a female cavity using a male plug tool within the moulding area.

It helps in forming hollow moulds with even thickness without webbing.

The purpose here is to feed as much material as possible to the cavity before applying vacuum to minimize on thinning.

8. Cooling and Release

After the formation of thermostat plastic insert trays, it has to cool before they are released. Releasing them too soon may cause deformation of the moulding which results in part rejection.

You can use high sped fans to facilitate the cooling cycle. Alternatively, you can use a spray mist option.

Once the plastic insert trays are cooled, they can be released.

9. Trimming

The final step involves cutting the plastic insert trays into pieces. The use of an automatic cutting machine comes in handy here.

MOQ when Importing Plastic Insert Trays from China

Most manufacturers work with MOQ when ordering plastic insert trays from China. The same is true when it comes to importing these plastic insert trays from China.

The minimum MOQ for importing plastic insert trays from China usually is 1000 pieces. However, depending on your manufacturer, you can easily negotiate a way to reduce the quantity.

This includes talking to different manufacturers to get a favourable quote or ordering from a smaller manufacturer. Alternatively, you can reduce the MOQ though you will have to pay a higher price for the manufacture.

You can also reduce the customization of your plastic insert trays if you want to get a favourable price. The more you want a customization of your plastic insert trays, the more you will have to pay to manufacture them.

How to Sterilize & Clean Plastic Insert Trays

Since plastic insert trays are re-usable, you can sterilize and reuse them severally before their life shelf is over. Sterilization and cleaning involve the following steps:

· Pretreatment

Pretreatment involves removing large visible impurities from the plastic insert trays. They may be debris of the last products.

Do this immediately after removing the products using running water for about one minute. You can use a soft brush for removing the particles.

· Cleaning

After pretreatment, disassemble the plastic insert trays.

Next, immerse the parts of the trays in a fresh cleaning bath that contains the correct concentration as specified by your manufacturer.

Using the soft brush, clean the parts to remove any visible contamination such as stains. Separately clean the holes using a fine brush.

Also, clean the bottom part, and the spaces between the soft and hard plastic parts thoroughly.

· Disinfection

Prepare a fresh disinfectant solution and immerse the different parts into it. Ensure all the parts are submerged into the solution and leave it for around five minutes.

Remove them after the five minutes lapse.

· Rinsing and Drying

After disinfecting the parts, you need to rinse these parts using clean running water to remove the disinfectant. Turn these parts around as the running water flows through.

Once you do this, put them out in the sun to dry. Alternatively, you can use lint-free disposable clothes. Use compressed air free oil to dry the holes.

· Maintenance and Assembly

The next step involves maintenance and assembling of the parts of the plastic insert trays. Be careful not to destroy or damage any part of the plastic insert trays.

· Sterilization

Place the trays in a sterilization pack for sterilization purposes. This should take around 5 minutes before removing the plastic insert trays.

How Much Plastic Insert Trays Cost?

Give an estimated amount per unit or one. Though indicate that you can only buy based on MOQ

Factors determining the cost of insert trays include:

1) Type of Plastic Insert Tray Material

There are different types of plastic insert tray materials available in the market. Each of these materials differs in quality, which affects the final cost.

PET, for instance, is a cheaper option than PVC though its usability and physical as well as the chemical properties differ from the other materials.

2) Thickness of Plastic Insert Tray Material

A thicker plastic insert material will cost more than a thinner plastic insert tray. This is because of the amount of material used as well as the attributes of a thicker plastic insert tray.

A thicker plastic insert tray will require a considerable quantity of plastic material. On the other hand, such a material will have better strength capability.

3) Size of Plastic Insert Tray

Like the thickness of the material, the size also will rely on the amount of material used during the manufacturing process.

A smaller size of plastic insert tray will utilize a smaller quantity of material compared to the larger size.

As a result, you will find a larger plastic insert tray will cost more than a smaller size plastic insert tray.

4) Depth of Plastic Insert Tray

The depth of a plastic insert tray helps in better securing your products. It will cost you more to purchase a plastic insert tray that has a deeper depth compared to a shallow one.

5) Quality Control Specifications

The quality control specifications will also determine the cost of your plastic insert trays it has to go through before they are certified.

The higher the number of these quality controls and their complexity, the higher its cost will be.

Quality control helps in ensuring that we obtain the highest standards of plastic insert trays. The higher the standard, the safer the product is for use.

Types of Cavities for Plastic Insert Trays

There are different types of cavities of plastic insert trays that you can have depending on the market requirements. Among these types include:

· Custom Insert Tray Cavities

The design of this type depends on the product requirements. You manufacturer can design it in such a way that it holds part of the product or firmly holds it together.

However, the more complex the cavity is, the more costly it will be to manufacture.

· Geometric Plastic Insert Trays

These are formed using geometric shapes that are of a standard form. They are meant to hold part or the entire part. They can act as a universal plastic insert tray that allows for multiple products.

A simple geometric cavity costs less to fabricate as compared to an intricate cavity design.

Plastic Insert Trays Quality Compliance

A quality plastic insert tray should adhere to certain certification before its release into the market. Some of these certifications include:

· ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is a certification that ensures the production of plastic insert trays does not have an adverse effect on the environment. Such effect includes water, air or soil pollution.

It also ensures that the continuous production of these trays positively improve on the effect they have on the environment.

The advantage of your plastic insert trays having this compliance is that its production and use does not negatively affect the environment.

· ISO 9001

This certification is relevant in ensuring that the production of the plastic insert trays meets the set standards.

It also certifies that a manufacturer is capable of continuously producing plastic insert trays that meet set standards.

· SGS Testing

SGS testing on plastic insert trays aims at ensuring the trays are of the right quality and right performance. It helps in obtaining the correct plastic insert tray to be used on different products.

Depending on where you intend to use the plastic insert trays, they should also meet the CCC, FDA, and CE among other relevant quality testing marks.


Well, now that you have an idea of plastic insert trays, I guess it is now time that you go ahead and purchase yours. I hope I have given you all the information that you need to know concerning plastic insert trays.

If you still have any clarification that you want to be clarified, get in touch with us today, and we will be glad to offer assistance.

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