Clamshell Packaging – A Comprehensive Guide 2023

Updated January 2, 2024

If you've ever purchased a product from a store, chances are you've encountered clamshell containers. This type of packaging is commonly used to protect and display products, especially those that are fragile or prone to damage during shipping. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about clamshell packaging, including its benefits and drawbacks, different types of clamshell packaging, and how it is used in different industries.

What is clamshell?

Clamshell packaging is a type of plastic packaging that consists of two hinged halves that snap together to enclose a product. The shape of the packaging resembles a clamshell, hence the name. Clamshell packaging is commonly used to package products that are small, lightweight, and fragile. The packaging provides a secure and tamper-proof barrier that protects the product from damage during shipping and handling.

Transparent clamshell packaging container slightly opened for food storage and transportation. White opaque clamshell packaging container opened for food storage and transportation.

Brief History of Clamshell Packaging

The history of clamshell packaging can be traced back to the early 1970s when it was first introduced by the electronics industry to package small electronic components. Since then, clamshell packaging has evolved and is now used in a wide range of industries, including food, medical, and retail.

Benefits of Clamshell Packaging

There are several advantages to using clamshell packaging, including:

  1. Protection: Clamshell packaging provides a secure and tamper-proof barrier that protects the product from damage during shipping and handling.
  2. Visibility: Clamshell packaging allows for maximum visibility of the product, which can help increase sales.
  3. Customization: Clamshell packaging can be customized to fit the specific needs of the product, including size, shape, and color.
  4. Branding: Clamshell packaging can be branded with a company's logo or other branding elements, which can help increase brand recognition.
  5. Convenience: Clamshell packaging is easy to open and close, which makes it convenient for consumers to access the product.

Drawbacks of Clamshell Packaging

Despite its benefits, there are also some drawbacks to using clamshell packaging, including:

  1. Environmental Impact: Clamshell packaging is made from plastic, which is not biodegradable and can contribute to environmental pollution.
  2. Difficulty in Opening: Clamshell packaging can be difficult to open, which can lead to frustration for consumers.
  3. Storage Space: Clamshell packaging can take up more storage space than other types of packaging, which can be a concern for retailers and distributors.

Types of Clamshell Packaging

1. Plastic clamshell packaging

Plastic clamshell packaging is the most common type of clamshell packaging. It is made of plastic and is widely used in the retail and food industries. This type of packaging provides excellent protection against damage, but it is not the most eco-friendly option available.

2. Blister clamshell packaging

Blister clamshell packaging is a type of clamshell packaging that is often used for electronic devices. It consists of a clear plastic front that displays the product, and a paper or plastic back that seals the product in place.

3. Clear clamshell packaging

Clear clamshell packaging is a type of clamshell packaging that is commonly used for retail products. It is made of clear plastic, which allows customers to see the product inside the packaging.

4. Food clamshell packaging

Food clamshell packaging is a type of clamshell packaging that is specifically designed for the food industry. It is made of food-grade plastic that is safe for storing and transporting food.

5. Retail clamshell packaging

Retail clamshell packaging is a type of packaging that is designed to be attractive to customers. It is commonly used for products such as toys, electronics, and personal care items.

6. Eco-friendly clamshell packaging

Eco-friendly clamshell packaging is a type of packaging that is designed to be more environmentally friendly than traditional clamshell packaging. It is made of biodegradable or recyclable materials, and is commonly used in the food and retail industries.

How Clamshell Packaging is Used in Different Industries

  1. Electronics industry - Clamshell packaging is commonly used in the electronics industry to protect devices during shipping and handling. Blister clamshell packaging is often used to display electronic devices in retail settings.
  2. Food industry - Food clamshell packaging is commonly used in the food industry to store and transport food products. Clear clamshell packaging is also used to display food products in retail settings.
  3. Retail industry - Retail clamshell packaging is commonly used in the retail industry to display products such as toys, electronics, and personal care items. Clear clamshell packaging is often used to display smaller products.
  4. Medical industry - Clamshell packaging is used in the medical industry to protect and transport medical devices and equipment.
  5. Beauty industry - Clamshell packaging is used in the beauty industry to protect and display products such as makeup, skincare, and haircare items.

Environmental Impact of Clamshell Packaging

While clamshell packaging offers many benefits, it also has a negative impact on the environment. One of the main challenges with recycling clamshell packaging is that it is made of different types of plastic that are difficult to separate. This makes it harder for recycling facilities to process and reuse the material. However, there are eco-friendly alternatives available, such as biodegradable and compostable materials that can help reduce the environmental impact of clamshell packaging.

Biodegradable and eco-friendly paper clamshell packaging for food storage and transportation.

Best Practices for Using Clamshell Packaging

Clamshell packaging has become a popular option for packaging products due to its numerous benefits. From protecting the product to providing an attractive display, clamshell packaging can be an effective packaging solution for a variety of products. However, there are certain best practices to keep in mind when using clamshell packaging to ensure that it is effective and efficient. In this article, we will explore the best practices for using clamshell packaging, including design and customization options, safety considerations, and cost considerations.

Design and Customization Options

One of the major benefits of clamshell packaging is its versatility in design and customization. Clamshell packaging can be designed to fit a specific product, with custom shapes and sizes. Additionally, the packaging can be designed with branding and labeling to create a unique and attractive display. This allows businesses to use clamshell packaging as a way to differentiate their products from competitors and stand out on the shelf.

Safety Considerations

While clamshell packaging can be an effective packaging solution, it is important to consider safety when using it. Clamshell packaging should be designed with proper ventilation to prevent the product from overheating or becoming damaged. Additionally, sharp edges or corners should be avoided to prevent injury when opening the packaging. Finally, it is important to ensure that the packaging is securely closed to prevent the product from falling out or becoming damaged during shipping or handling.

Cost Considerations

When considering using clamshell packaging, it is important to consider the cost implications. While clamshell packaging can provide an attractive display and protect the product, it can also be more expensive than other types of packaging. It is important to balance the benefits of clamshell packaging with the cost to determine if it is the best option for your product.


Clamshell packaging is a popular option for packaging fragile products as it provides excellent protection and maximum visibility of the product. However, it has both advantages and disadvantages, such as environmental pollution, difficulty in opening, and storage space.

There are different types of clamshell packaging available in the market, such as plastic clamshell packaging, blister clamshell packaging, food clamshell packaging, retail clamshell packaging, clear clamshell packaging, and eco-friendly clamshell packaging. This packaging is widely used in various industries, including electronics, food, retail, medical, and beauty.

If you're looking for effective packaging solutions, Asiapack is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high-quality clamshell packaging. Contact us today to learn more about our customizable options and eco-friendly alternatives.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Clamshell packaging is a type of plastic packaging that consists of two hinged halves that snap together to enclose a product.
Clamshell packaging provides excellent protection, maximum visibility, customization, branding, and convenience to access the product.
There are six types of clamshell packaging: plastic clamshell packaging, blister clamshell packaging, food clamshell packaging, retail clamshell packaging, clear clamshell packaging, and eco-friendly clamshell packaging.
Clamshell packaging is used in various industries, including electronics, food, retail, medical, and beauty.
Clamshell packaging is made from plastic, which is not biodegradable and can contribute to environmental pollution. However, eco-friendly alternatives, such as biodegradable and compostable materials, can help reduce the environmental impact.