MrTakeOutBags: Glossary

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Foodservice Packaging Glossary

Our mini food service packaging dictionary that defines some important terms you might run into on our site, or while speaking to our reps.

    Earth Friendly

  • Biodegradable

    products break down through the action of a naturally occurring microorganism, such as bacteria, fungi etc. over a period of time. These products are made from plant or animal sources. Examples of biodegradable include paper, vegetable scraps, and some forms of plastics made from ingredients such as corn starch.

  • Compostable

    For products to be considered compostable, it must be able to break down into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass at the same rate as paper. It also needs to look like compost, should not produce any toxic material and should be able to support plant life. Compostable items are made from plant materials such as corn, potato, cellulose, soy and sugar.

  • Decompose

    to separate elements of a product into simpler compounds. In other words, after years of decomposing, a product will no longer be visible to the human eye.

  • Degrade

    the wearing down or erosion of a product overtime.

  • Disposable

    products that are intended to be used once and then thrown away.

  • Earth Friendly

    a product that is designed with the preservation of the Earth in mind. Products that have reduced harm to the environment.

  • Eco-friendly

    product does not cause harm to the environment.

  • Environmentally Friendly

    guidelines, laws and policies that claim minimal, or no harm upon the environment. We try to aim to only buy products that follow these guidelines.

  • Green Friendly

    a product that is kind to the environment and reduces harm.

  • Green Product

    products that have less of an impact on the environment or are less detrimental to human health compared to traditional products. Green products might be formed or partially formed from recycled components, be manufactured in a more energy conservative way, or be supplied to the market with less packaging.

  • Natural

    the materials a product uses are made by nature and not humans.

  • Plant Material

    when a product is made with plant material, it means just that. Scientists are developing products where instead of using harmful chemicals they are incorporating plant materials. When creating a product with plant material, it helps the product eventually compost and go back to where it began, in the ground.

  • Post-consumer material

    an end product that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and would otherwise have been disposed of as a solid waste. When a product has this label it means it was created with post-consumer recycled content.

  • Post-Consumer Recycled

    after a product has completed its life as consumer item, it can then be recycled into different materials.

  • Post-consumer waste

    waste that is produced by the last consumer and the waste-producing use does not involve the creation of another product.

  • Post-Industrial Recycled

    converting manufactured waste into recycled products.

  • Post-industrial sugarcane fiber

    sugar cane fiber that is converted from waste into a recycled product.

  • Recyclable

    When a product is said to be recyclable it qualifies to be processed then recreated into a new recycled product. Reusing products to create new products reduces the harm that is put on our environment while making everyday products

  • Recycled fiber

    paper that was once thrown away and then it was recycled into a new product.

  • Recycled Paper

    waste paper that has been broken down into strands of cellulose, a type of organic plant material. The resulting mixture is called pulp and this pulp is strained through screens that remove any glue or plastic and then the mixture is deinked, cleaned, bleached and mixed with water.

  • Renewable Resource

    If a product is said to be renewable or made from renewable resources it means that during the process of production, renewable resources are being utilized to create a new product. Renewable resources can be easily replaced after they are used. For example, sunlight, wind, beef, corn, and water.

  • Repulpable

    If a paper bag, box or sheet is able to be reduced back to fibers called pulp that can be used to make more paper products it is known to be Repulpable. Zero residues are left when the product goes through a paper factory's recycling process.

  • Reusable

    product can be used more than once or again. We have a large variety of products that fit into this category.

  • Stackable

    a product is stackable when you are able to place one product on top of another. The stackable features make it easy to transport, provide space efficiency, and organize distribution.

  • Sustainable

    using a resource so this it is not completely worn-out or damaged.

  • Unbleached

    product is not made lighter or whiter by a chemical process which means the product has not been processed in many different ways.


  • Dry-Waxed

    paper that has wax driven into it and does not leave behind any residue on the surface. The wax is pressed into the paper so it will not be transferred to your product.

  • Food-grade

    products that are of sufficient quality that can be used for food carrying and production.

  • Glassine

    a type of paper that is glossy and transparent.

  • Gusseted

    an insert in a seam that provides expansion and reinforcement in a product.

  • Polylactic Acid (PLA) window

    a window composed of a biodegradable polyester made from renewable resources such as potato, corn and other plant starch

  • Textured

    the surface characteristics of a product that give the product a certain appearance and feel.

  • Untreated

    a product that has not been altered chemically, physically or with a biological agent.

  • Window Poly-lined

    When a window is said to be poly-lined, the window is made out of plastic material called polypropylene which is a plastic that is tough and flexible.


  • Clay-coated exterior

    adds extra strength to the exterior of product with a clay coating that is sprayed on.

  • Corrugated Cardboard

    a surface of a product that has been shaped into grooves and ridges. A much thicker material than paperboard with air columns in between the linerboard to provide proper cushioning and insulation.

  • Economical

    a beneficial value or service in return to the amount of time, effort and money spent.

  • Envirosafe Film

    a plastic film made of wood pulp that is a natural and sustainable resource. Made with the environment in mind but does compromise performance, or aesthetic appearance.

  • Grease resistant

    a product is said to be grease resistant when a barrier is made to prevent oil spots and grease halos.

  • Laminated

    an overlay of plastic for the protection of a product.

  • Leak-resistant

    Whether it's plastic/paper lid or a lined food box, the product is safe from the liquids, oils, and grease seeping through the box, or leaking from a lid.

  • Micro fluted corrugated cardboard

    a type of packaging that is lightweight but it is also firm. Micro flute cardboard allows for better protection due to its multiple layers.

  • Non-toxic water based ink

    an ink that uses water as solvent base to transport the pigment onto a new material. Water based inks are more friendly to the environment due to the use of less chemicals.

  • One-piece automatic

    Boxes that are all one piece where all you have to do is open up and fold together the box. No lids or tops are needed.

  • Poly-coated interior

    a coating to a product that provides added insulation. The coating keeps the product from having condensation on the outside which would weaken the product.

  • Polystyrene

    is one the most widely used plastics in the world, and it is naturally transparent.

  • Semi-automatic

    a box that allows for fast construction, a large amount of our bakery boxes have this feature.

  • Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS)

    is a type of paperboard made from pulp that is bleached and also the board is virgin fiber grade.

  • Sugar cane fiber

    a product that is made from recycled 100% unbleached paperboard. This product will take 4 to 6 months to decompose.

  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative

    a non-profit program which helps in the protection and preservation of forests' biodiversity, species at risk, and habitats of wildlife.

  • Twin-locking system

    a newer, innovative system that allows some of our products to close easily and quickly.


  • Air insulating chamber

    a product that seals in the air and does not let any of the air out. Products with this feature eliminate the need for coffee sleeves and it also allows for better insulation keeping a warm beverage hot longer.

  • Biopolymer

    a protein that is formed in an organism that is living.

  • Double Wall

    a paperboard that is composite and has two corrugations and three attached liners. Used in cups for better insulation.

  • Heat-activated adhesive

    a substance that is able to stick quickly to a surface after it has been heated.

  • Ingeo

    a brand name that produces polylactic acid.

  • Molded fiber

    a material used in packaging that is typically made from recycled paperboard. It is used primarily as protection for food service trays and beverage carriers.

  • Wax-Coated

    products with a wax coating are leak-resistant, strong and sturdy. Each side of the product is sprayed with wax so it is strong and sturdy all around.

    Bowls / Containers

  • Catering Tray

    a large tray that is flat with raised edges so items cannot easily slide off of the tray.

  • Dome Lid

    allows for more space for storage as opposed to flat lids which do not provide more room and storage.

  • Food Platter

    a large dish that is flat and is usually oval or circular in shape, used for the serving of food.

  • Insulated

    a product that prevents the transfer of heat or electricity.

  • Pliable

    a product that is flexible and can be easily bent.

  • Pop-tight lid

    a lid for a cup that pops right on with a little pressure.

  • Translucent

    a product that allows some light but not detailed images to pass through.


  • EPI

    a company who was responsible for the development TDPA

  • Wholesale

    we are a wholesale company which means that we sell our products in large quantities so the products can then be sold by the retail price to others.

  • Kraft

    When a product is said to be kraft, it means the product is made by a strong, brown and smooth wrapping paper.


  • Totally Degradable Plastic Additives

    developed for plastics in food service packaging which causes the plastics in a product to degrade at a controlled rate when it is exposed to heat, sunlight, or mechanical stress.

  • Non-ecotoxic

    a product that does not cause any harm to the environment or any specific ecosystems

  • Oxo-biodegradable

    plastics that use TDPA to biodegrade a product

  • Heavy gauge plastic

    a thicker plastic that heats two-dimensional plastic sheets into a three-dimensional shape

  • Saran-type film

    a thin plastic film that helps prevent food spoilage and also helps food retain its flavor and aroma

  • Polyethylene

    a resin that is light, tough, and flexible which is used in food containers, plastic bags and more.

  • Polypropylene

    tough and flexible thermoplastic materials used in many of our packaging products

  • Polylactic Acid

    When a product is made with PLA, it means the plastic is biodegradable and it is derived from renewable resources like corn starch.

    Custom Packaging Terms

  • 4 Color Process Printing

    a printing system where a color image is divided into 4 different colors (blue, red, yellow, and black). This printing process is mostly used in the graphic arts and commercial printing industry for the imitation of color images and texts.

  • Aqueous Coating

    fast-drying water-based coating that is clear and used to protect printed pieces. The coating can either be a high-gloss or matte surface which is good for keeping away fingerprints and dirt.

  • Bleed

    a piece is able to be printed all the way to the edge of the plastic film by printing outside the margins and then trimming to the margin.

  • CMYK

    a color model that is subtractive used in color printing and it also describes the printing process itself. The four ink colors that are used are cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black).

  • Coated Paper

    a coating is applied to the paper to provide certain qualities like surface gloss, weight, smoothness, and reduced ink absorbency.

  • Color Sequence

    the order in which colors are produced. A common color sequence is black, cyan, yellow and magenta

  • Color Tint

    a mixture of a color that when mixed with white, the lightness increases. When a color is mixed with black, the lightness decreases.

  • Converter

    a manufacturer who produces printed sheets, rolls, bags, etc. from printed rolls of foil, film or paper.

  • Coverage

    the amount of ink or coating material that covers a surface area.

  • Customizable

    able to customize packaging by adding your name and logo to the product. It's a cost-effective way to extend your brand.

  • Digital Printing

    a system of printing that links printing presses and computers together instead of having to make printing plates.

  • Digital Proof

    a prepress proofing method where a print job is done by a highly accurate inkjet, color laser or other type of print job printer to provide a near approximation to what the final piece will look like.

  • Dot Gain

    is a printing occurrence where printed material looks darker than intended. The cause is from halftone dots developing in between the original printing film and the final printing film.

  • Double Bump

    a process where a single image is printed twice so there are two layers of ink.

  • Emboss

    a surface that stands out due to carving, molding, or stamping.

  • EPS

    a form of vector artwork used to develop graphics for a proof.

  • Eye Mark

    a rectangular printing area that is small and usually located close to the edge of a design and its purpose is to activate an automatic position regulator for controlling the print design.

  • Film Gauge

    a physical property of film that defines its width.

  • Fine Screen

    a type of screen that only allows the finest of materials to pass through.

  • Flexographic

    a printing process where a flexible relief plate is used. It is the modern version of a letterpress and it can be used on almost any surface.

  • Foil Stamping

    a commercial printing process that applies metallic or pigmented foil onto a surface by a heated die onto foil. The marking is left permanently on the surface and only leaves the design of the dye.

  • Gang Run

    a printing process where multiple printing projects are put on a common sheet of paper in order to reduce paper waste and printing costs.

  • Graphic Design

    the art or profession of combining words, ideas, and images to relay information to viewers of the design. It is a form of visual communication.

  • Graphics

    engraving, etching, lithography, photography, serigraphy, and woodcut are all types of reproductive methods to make a graphic.

  • Grayscale

    a range of different gray colors from white to black and it is used for displays and printouts.

  • Halftone

    a printing process where the graduation of tone in an image is photographed through a screen to disconnect the continuous tones into minute, very close dots. Then a metal plate is photoengraved using the print obtained and finally the metal plate produces an image by letterpress or offset printing.

  • High-density polyethylene

    a plastic that is highly versatile while also being a plastic that is widely recycled. It can be rigid (plastic containers) or it can be flexible (bags).

  • Hot Stamp

    Our Hot Stamp machine creates high temperatures that transfer pre-dried ink or foils onto a products surface.

  • Imprint

    to mark or outline a surface by impressing or stamping

  • Ink Drawdown

    a process that evaluates color mixing of ink on a surface of a substrate. Drawdown is a basic test that determines the accuracy of color matching and the compatibility of the various inks combined.

  • Inline digital Printing

    a new printing method that is designed to be more agile than most printing methods without compromising quality. The printing involves a laser system which creates the custom design on some of our custom products.

  • Interleave

    to insert something interchangeably between the pages or the parts of something.

  • Layout

    the arrangement, design, or plan of something is laid out. For example, the design of product to be printed.

  • products that are identified by an organization's symbol or other design

  • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)

    a type of thermoplastic developed from the monomer ethylene. This is a widely used plastic is flexible and tough. An advantage environmentally for LDPE is that it can be made into lightweight plastic film which is a major use for LDPE.

  • Machine Glazed

    a high finish is applied to one side of paper only by drying the web with continuous contact of a highly polished heat cylinder.

  • Matte Finish

    a dull or lusterless surface as opposed to a shiny surface.

  • Metallic Ink

    an ink that holds pigments that simulate metal or powdered metal. Metallic ink gives off a high shine.

  • Mil (1/1000")

    refers to one thousandth of an inch and it is a unit of thickness usually referring to plastic.

  • Overrun

    additional copies are printed in excess of the original order.

  • Pantone Colors

    a color system developed by Pantone Inc. to be used in a variety of different industries.

  • Pantone Matching System (PMS)

    a standardized color reproduction system. Because the colors are standardized, it allows for manufacturers to be able to refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match.

  • Paperboard

    a cardboard like material that is paper based and generally thicker than regular paper. Layers of paper or paper pulp are compressed together.

  • Perforating

    to make a line of holes into an object to show separation.

  • Photoengraving

    a process that photo mechanically creates line cuts and halftone cuts by photographing an image on a metal plate and then etching.

  • Pixel

    the smallest element of an image that can be handled in a computer or video display system.

  • Pixelated

    a computer graphics and digital photography term relating to an image being broken up into pixels by over enlarging the image. In other words, the image is blurred and unclear.

  • Positive Print

    a print that is usually made from a negative. When a light is shined through the film, an image will appear like it would in real life.

  • Post-Printing

    a process where the final proofing of the test run occurs. This process is put in place to assure the best quality of printing.

  • Printing Plate

    an image is burned on to a metal plate and when exposed to light, an image is transmitted to paper or fabric using ink and will only display the image on the plate.

  • Process Color(s)

    a process in printing that uses four specific colored ink.

  • Proof

    a test design that is made for examination and correction.

  • Quotation

    a formal statement that estimates the prices for a job or service.

  • Random Repeat Print

    the opposite of registered print tissue paper where each newspaper print is randomly different.

  • Rasterized

    an image that has been converted into pixels so they can be shown on a screen or printed.

  • Ream

    a large amount of paper, usually 500 sheets.

  • Register

    a printing term where two or more printing images are fit together in exact alignment with each other.

  • Registered Print

    this style of print deals with our newspaper tissue paper and registered print is when the print of each piece of tissue paper is the exact same print.

  • Reverse Out

    a background or border that is created by a font or type and it allows the background color to display the shape of the characters.

  • Screen Density

    the amount of pixels that appear within a constant area of a display, usually measured in dots per inch.

  • Screen Printing

    a process where ink or metal is forced onto a surface through a screen of fine material so a picture or pattern can be created.

  • Soy Inks

    an ink made from soybeans and it is the more environmentally friendly approach to ink. The soy ink also allows for more accurate colors and makes it easier to recycle paper, but it dries slower than most inks.

  • Split Run

    an advertising technique where two different ads are ran for the same product to be able to compare the effectiveness of the different advertisements.

  • Spoilage

    paper waste that is planned for all printing operations.

  • Template

    a piece that has been made that serves as a guide to a gauge, pattern or mold.

  • Trapping

    the capability to print a wet ink film over an ink that was previously printed.

  • Uncoated Paper

    tends to be more porous than coated paper and the paper is not as smooth. Uncoated paper usually allows for a more neat and prestigious look.

  • Underrun

    a run of a printed item that is below the order quantity.

  • UV Coating

    a compound that is applied to paper wet and then ultraviolet light dries it instantly. The purpose of UV coating is for enhanced colors and the protection of the materials.

  • Varnish

    a resinous matter that is dissolved in oil or alcohol and then applied to the surface of a wood, metal or other material. The varnish leaves a hard, slightly glossy, transparent coating.

  • Vector artwork

    illustrations are created using vector illustration software programs. The programs use equations and geometric lines to create clean and camera ready artwork without any damage of quality. The most common file extensions for vector artwork are .ai, .pdf, .eps, and .psd.

  • Virgin Paper

    paper that has zero recycled content and is made from the pulp of trees or cotton.

  • Washup

    the process of eliminating the ink from a press and then washing the rollers and blanket. A few ink colors need numerous wash-ups to avoid contamination.

  • Watermark

    a marking in paper produced by pressure resulting in different thicknesses and it is able to be seen when held up to light.

  • Window

    a pane of glass or plastic that one looks through to see what is inside.