Injection molding is a process that's used to make all kinds of products, from plastic furniture and toys to parts for appliances and hardware. In packaging, injection molding is most commonly used to make containers like bottles, jars, and tubs. Injection molded parts can come in nearly any shape or size. There are stock color options and custom colors are available at high volumes.
While there are several material options for injection molded parts, what they all have in common is that they’re thermoplastics. Thermoplastics are plastics that melt when they’re heated. To make injection molded parts, plastic pellets are heated and injected into molds. Then the items are cooled and pushed out of the molds.
Your supplier can help you choose the best type of plastic for your application based on your design and desired performance. In addition to your aesthetic preferences, they'll need to know if the item needs to be food safe, UV resistant, chemical resistant, or have other protective qualities like resistance to extremely hot or cold temperatures.
The rate for plastic recycling is below 10% in the US, so when it's disposed, most plastic ends up in landfills, waterways, or incinerators. If you're trying to limit reliance on fossil fuels consider using recycled plastics, or optimizing for refills and/or reusability. If your product allows, you could also consider metal or glass alternatives.