The Airlite Blog

Product Feature

Order Drink Cups & To-Go Containers Directly From the Source

As a small business owner in the food industry, you have a lot to handle each day. Whether you’re running a restaurant, operating a food truck, or managing a grocery store, there’s an overwhelming amount of decisions to make and questions to answer. “What’s on the menu?” “Should we restock?” “How can we be more efficient?”

At Airlite, we understand how overwhelming it can be. That’s why we’ve decided to offer some of our most popular food service packaging for direct purchase, to help streamline your operation and help you stay focused on the big picture.

Now you can get our recyclable, durable, leak-resistant, injection-molded To-Go Containers and restaurant Kids’ Cups, without requiring a middleman and paperwork.


To-Go Containers

Our clear takeout containers are a perfect fit for leftovers and a variety of foods, including wet salads, soups, dips, and sauces. Made from 100% curbside recyclable polypropylene (PP), our takeout containers are transparent for easy visibility and are microwave and dishwasher-safe so they can be reused repeatedly.

Made in the USA, our BPA-free carryout containers come in 8oz, 16oz, and 32oz sizes. We ship them out to you in boxes including 240 tubs and 240 lids, conveniently packaged together to help you save on storage space.


Reusable Kids’ Drink Cups

Our Kids’ Drink Cups are an excellent choice for any restaurant, food truck, movie theater, state fair, amusement park, bowling alley, or anywhere serving cold drinks to kids. These BPA-free drink cups come in a 12oz size and are available in three unique, kid-friendly design options. They are easily recyclable and also dishwasher safe, making them easy to bring home and fun to use again and again. Each box of Airlite Drink Cups is shipped with 250 cups, lids and straws for convenient storing and accessibility.


With Airlite, it’s easier to simplify your business and get the supplies you need directly from the source. Select the size and quantity you need online, pay with a credit card, and we’ll ship quickly and directly from Airlite’s manufacturing facility in Omaha, NE.


To order Kids’ Cups or to learn more:

To order To-Go Containers or to learn more:

Looking for something more custom? Please contact us directly at:

Product Feature

Creating Yogurt Packaging that Stands out from the Crowd

What makes a consumer gravitate towards a specific brand in a category flooded with options? What catches our attention when we’re walking down the yogurt aisle? Container shape? Size? Color? Detail of the brand imagery? Maybe it’s all of the above.


Our Grandmas told us not to judge a book by its cover. But she didn’t mention anything about yogurt packaging, did she? We can’t help but be persuaded by the look of a product that stands out on the shelf. First impressions matter, especially when the average consumer usually chooses from hundreds of options in about 3-5 seconds.

Standing out on the shelf is a lot easier when you can differentiate. At Airlite, we offer a portfolio of nearly 200 injection molded containers, which include a growing number of single-serve and multi-serve yogurt cups. This includes cups 80mm and 95mm in diameter and 4oz, 5.3oz, 6oz, 24oz and 32oz in volume.

Airlite’s yogurt cup portfolio checks all the boxes for standard retail yogurt sizes for traditional, Greek, or Skyr yogurt. But most importantly, it provides shape and decoration options that help differentiate your product. In addition to our traditional round cups, we offer yogurt cups with rounded tops and “sqround” bottoms for a unique, eye-catching shape. And when it comes to labeling, nothing says “look at me” in the store aisle like our IML cups with in-mold labeling. IML packaging is Airlite’s most striking and premium decoration option, but all cups can be decorated with either traditional dry offset printing, flexographic printing, or in-mold labeling to accommodate any price point.

In addition to standing out on the shelf, our yogurt cups are recyclable too! Made from all mono-material PP (polypropylene), the label and the yogurt cup don’t need to be separated to be recycled, which allows for a simple, one-step recycling process. As of 2022, polypropylene is considered widely recycled by How2Recycle and is only increasing in its recyclability rate year over year.

At Airlite, “The Sky’s the Limit!”. While we’re proud of our extensive packaging portfolio, we understand you may be looking for something different. We’ll work with your team to customize yogurt packaging that can make a big first impression in the grocery aisle, increase product shelf-life, and align with the sustainability initiatives important to you and your customers.

Product Feature

Enhancing the Fan Experience with a Premium Souvenir Cup

A trip to the ballpark is an iconic summer tradition. Just picture it in your mind and you can almost smell the popcorn, hotdogs, and giant pretzels. You can practically hear the vendors passing by shouting the names of drinks and snacks.


It’s all very nostalgic when you’re there. It might be a first date. It could be your kid’s first game ever. It might be the night you see an incredible game-winning play that you talk about the rest of your life. These are the kind of moments that stick with you. But, as we know, even the best memories can fade over time.

That’s why people buy a souvenir, to have something to mark the occasion and refresh their memory. In the moment, though, people often forget to get one or avoid spending the extra money. But if you have a high-quality, dynamic, reusable souvenir cup in your cup holder, you’ve already got the perfect one right in front of you. Because a cup like that is more than a cup, it’s a memento and a collector’s item that demands to go home with you.

At Airlite, we help our partners at sporting venues, zoos, theme parks, state fairs, restaurants and more to help deliver custom, branded souvenir drink cups too good to toss away.


Here are some of the benefits of high-quality, reusable drink cups from Airlite and how we can help make the purchasing process easy, enhance your brand and improve the customer experience:


  • Options

We offer our customers a portfolio of reusable, injection-molded cups to choose from. These cups are available in sizes from 12oz up to 52oz, in various colors, and with the option of matching lids and straws.


  • Decoration

Whether you’re looking for premium IML cups (in-mold label) or something more economical, we work with you to determine the best cup and decoration combination. Depending on your needs and budget, we offer a range of decoration options, from our traditional dry offset printing, vibrant flexographic hybrid printing (The Look™), or our durable, seamless in-mold labeling (IML).


  • Partnership

We know many of our partners have limited graphic design resources and little storage for concession cups. At Airlite, we want to make things easy. Our in-house team works as an extension of yours to help you navigate design and determine a plan of action for warehousing and minimum order quantities.


  • Sustainability

You have sustainability initiatives on your radar, and so do we. Our drink cups are durable, mono-material (polypropylene), dishwasher safe, and made to be infinitely reusable. And when eventually they are discarded, they are easily curbside recyclable. In addition, our souvenir cups can be made using PCR (post consumer recycled) material, which only moves us all a step closer to our sustainability goals.


A branded drink cup from Airlite is a win-win, giving people a great keepsake they can use again and again, while also reducing the use of single-use plastic. Contact us today if you want to learn more about how our sustainable souvenir cups can make a difference for your fans, your brand and the environment.

Product Feature

Why Packaging Matters—The Rise of HPP and Clean Label

Every year brings a growing demand from our partners in the food industry and consumers for safe, healthy, clean label and preservative-free products they can trust.

And the key to being able to meet those standards is finding the right food packaging technology, which often means using packaging that works with high-pressure processing (HPP) or pasteurization.

HPP can be used for many products, including juices and beverages, avocado products such as guacamole, deli meats, seafood, ready-to-eat meals, plant-based dips, salsas, baby food, and pet food.

For example, our partners, like Ithaca Hummus, Kite Hill, Field and Farmer, Bitchin’ Sauce, and more, require packaging options capable of withstanding high-pressure processing. HPP helps them maintain their products’ flavor, color, nutritional value, and shelf life in ways that traditional pasteurization can’t by killing food-borne pathogens with high pressure instead of heat, chemicals, or additives.

And even better, our partners don’t have to compromise on the look, quality, customization, or sustainability of their packaging. Airlite produces a full portfolio of premium polypropylene IML(in-mold labeled) and printed containers, all fully recyclable and labeled with vivid inks and lacquers suitable for high-pressure processing.

If you, or others in your organization, have questions on what HPP is, how it can help increase shelf life, or which packaging options support it, please read and share the below FAQs, or Contact Us directly.


What is HPP?

High-pressure processing, also known as high-pressure pasteurization, is a food and beverage preservation method that increases product shelf life through the use of high pressure, transmitted by water.


Why use High-Pressure Processing?

HPP makes it possible for clean label products to exist on store shelves. It is known for maintaining the flavors, nutrients, color, and texture of consumer-packaged goods, especially those considered clean label, better than heat pasteurization, with little to no preservatives.


Is all packaging compatible with HPP?

No. Many materials are too rigid and inflexible to withstand high-pressure pasteurization. This will cause the film seal to rupture, or cracking of the container, and the product will be lost. At Airlite, we have a large portfolio of products made from our proprietary polypropylene resin blends that are highly compatible with HPP. Polypropylene is flexible and can provide enough give under pressure that it maintains its’ shape without cracking. PP is also known for sealing exceptionally well to film seals, or lidding film. So contrary to PETE, PP containers going through HPP do not require an extra wide flange or seal surface.


What products are most commonly HPP’d?

In our rigid plastic packaging space, we most commonly see guacamole, hummus, salsa, and plant-based spreads and dips go through high-pressure processing. Juices, beverages, baby foods, seafood, and deli meats are other commonly HPP’d products packaged in flexible pouches and bottles.


Airlite Joins the U.S. Plastics Pact

Airlite Plastics is proud to announce that we’ve officially joined the U.S. Plastics Pact alongside more than 127 businesses, government agencies, not-for-profits, and research institutions working to create a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025. And with Earth Day being this week, it feels like just the right time to not only announce our new partnership but also reinforce the action we’re taking to help our planet and raise awareness about the urgent need to create a more sustainable future.

“The U.S. Plastics Pact will mobilize system-wide change through support for upstream innovation and a coordinated national strategy. This unified framework will enable members to fast-track progress toward our ambitious 2025 sustainability goals,” says Emily Tipaldo, Executive Director of the U.S. Plastics Pact.


By joining a long list of prominent Activators in the U.S. Plastics Pact, Airlite and other organizations agree to these four action items:


1: Define a list of plastic packaging that is problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate the items on the list by 2025.


2: 100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.


3: Undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging by 2025.


4: Achieve an average of 30% recycled content or responsibly sourced, bio-based content in plastic packaging by 2025.


At Airlite, we’ve long-been a future-first organization that’s strived for a better, more sustainable future. And now, as an Activator, we’re making an even greater commitment to urgency, transparency, accountability, and progress towards the U.S. Plastics Pact’s four targets each year, using WWF’s ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker as a guide. 

“At the core of who we are, we believe that doing everything we can to constantly decrease our environmental footprint is our duty. And for many years, we’ve focused our efforts internally. Running our plants more efficiently, utilizing electric machines, lightweighting where possible, reusing our industrial scrap in other divisions, etc. It’s now time to scale our efforts. Joining the U.S. Plastics Pact allows us the opportunity to share what we’ve learned over the last 77 years, to learn from other activators and pass it all along to our customers.”

— Brad Crosby, President and CEO of Airlite Plastics Co.


About Airlite Plastics Co.

Airlite Plastics is a privately held, family-owned and operated manufacturer of performance packaging. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, and founded in 1946, the Airlite product portfolio has expanded to now consist of in-mold labeled and printed containers and lids for the food industry, drink cups, scoops, insulated shippers, permeable pavers, insulated concrete form (ICF) building blocks, beauty packaging and other custom, plastic products. For more information, please visit


About the U.S. Plastics Pact

The Plastics Pact is a global network of initiatives that brings together all key stakeholders at the national or regional level behind a common vision with a concrete set of ambitious local targets. It builds a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices across regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic – a New Plastics Economy – in which it never becomes waste or pollution. For further information on the U.S. Plastics Pact go to

Trade Shows

Natural Products Expo West: Bigger and Better Than Ever

This March, our team made the annual trip to Anaheim, California, for the 2023 Natural Products Expo West. It’s one of the consumer packaged goods industry’s biggest events, with over 65,000 registered attendees and 3,000 exhibiting companies. It was great to connect with others in the industry, support our partners in attendance, and take in the latest trends. 


Plant-based & better ingredients

Expo West is the event of the year for natural and organic food and beverages; and for those looking to see how the industry is innovating to meet the demands of consumers and our planet.

At every turn are new products with bold, healthy ingredients that don’t sacrifice taste or, in some cases, even add a bit of indulgence, like the just launched “better-for-you” line of frozen yogurt gelatos from Noosa.

Another highlight was watching the growth of plant-based products, like those from our iml packaging partners Daiya, Vevan, Boursin, and brands like Climax, who are using AI to manufacture plant-based cheese that tastes just like the real thing.

 “The energy on the floor this year makes it undeniable. The thousands of new products on display are from an increasingly diverse group of founders and serve a diverse consumer base that cares about ingredients and responsible sourcing.”  

— Carlotta Mast, Senior Vice President at Informa Markets’ New Hope Network



Functional & medicinal foods

This year, we also heard a lot of conversation and excitement about the emergence of functional foods, or foods created and formulated to provide better health benefits.

Consumers want clean, wholesome products with added minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients. So it’s not just about healthy ingredients anymore, but what those ingredients do to boost your overall well-being.

And as functional foods have continued to grow, so has the focus on packaging that allows the products to be preserved effectively. 

For example, more of our partners, like Ithaca Hummus, require packaging options capable of withstanding high pressure processing (HPP). HPP is known to maintain flavor, color, and nutritional value better than traditional forms of pasteurization. An increasingly popular form of pasteurization, HPP protects the product by killing food-borne pathogens with high pressure, instead of heat.


Sustainability drives growth.

Another important topic to everyone at the show was sustainability. And what the trends show us is that companies that are committed to both sustainability and measuring the outcomes of sustainability are growing faster. So beyond it being the right thing to do, sustainable practices are also table stakes for companies looking to grow. Consumers expect them, and by making those investments now, you position yourself for future growth.

For example, we heard several companies proudly promoting themselves as plastic neutral, a distinction achieved when an organization’s plastic footprint is balanced by removing and recovering plastic waste from nature.

It’s essential to see this commitment toward creating a truly circular economy. This is why Airlite joined the U.S. Plastics Pact in 2023, dedicating ourselves to promoting circularity, using post-consumer recycled materials (PCR) whenever possible, and reducing our customer’s dependence on virgin resin.


Airlite Plastics Acquires National Measures® Scoops

We’re excited to announce that Airlite Plastics has acquired National Polymers LLC, their assets, and their proprietary scoop line.

National Polymers have been producing their National Measures® scoops since 2003, along with other custom molding lines for various end markets. And their successful custom injection molding business has been operating since its founding in 1972.

We’re glad to say that as part of Airlite, the National Polymers team will continue to operate from their current location in Lakeville, Minnesota. All current National Polymers team members and leadership, including Operations Manager, Larry Davis, will remain in place and report to Tony Alfieri, Airlite Plastics’ Vice President and General Manager of our Pennsylvania division.

Airlite is excited to welcome the team at National Polymers LLC into the Airlite family. Beyond providing us with another scoop manufacturing location and a great mix of customers, the acquisition is a good culture fit. Like Airlite, they have been committed to providing eco-conscious options for clients, manufacturing scoops that utilize 100% FDA-approved PCR (post-consumer recycled) resin.

National Measures® scoops will greatly complement Airlite’s own MeasureX® scoop product line and will help us continue to strengthen our position as the market leader in the bulk dosage measuring scoops space.

 “As we welcome National Measures® into the Airlite Plastics family, our plan will be to strategically align best practices based on our years of experience at MeasureX® and the years of experience at National Measures. Ultimately, joining these two companies will provide customers with a more robust supply chain solution and enhanced quality and service.”
– Brad Crosby, President & CEO of Airlite Plastics Co.

Trade Shows

Your Guide to Trade Show Season ‘22-’23

Every year our team looks forward to trade show season. Each show is an opportunity to meet new people, see familiar faces, and gain insight on what brands want and need.

Through 2022 and 2023, Airlite is exhibiting from coast to coast at more events than ever before. We’ll be showcasing our extensive portfolio of recyclable food packaging, including our IML (in-mold labeled) containers and lids, HPP packaging, oxygen barrier packaging, and drink cups.

Here is a rundown of some of the shows we’ll be exhibiting at this year and next.


Natural Products Expo East – Booth #2649

Philadelphia, PA — Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2022

We’re excited to participate in Natural Products Expo East for the first time this year. This event is designed to connect teams and industry experts, share innovations and build community amongst those in the industry that are committed to a more sustainable future.

Expo East is the perfect forum to learn about current trends in the plant-based food category, particularly with east coast brands, and discuss how IML containers and oxygen barrier packaging complement the segment so well.


Pack Expo International – Booth #22025

Chicago, IL — Oct. 23 – 26, 2022

Chicago is hosting this (typically) biannual event for the first time in 4 years after it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID. At Pack Expo International, exhibitors come from every industry sector that uses packaging (shipping, distribution, or retail) to showcase the latest developments in packaging technology, containers, components, and sustainability.

Produced by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, this conference is always a great event to see the category-specific trends around sustainable food packaging, take in educational sessions, and proudly showcase our portfolio of recyclable food packaging.


Natural Products Expo West – Booth #N-1623

Anaheim, CA — Mar. 8-10, 2023

Expo West is one of our industry’s most prominent events. After a couple of years off due to COVID, we were so excited to be able to attend again in early 2022. It felt good to showcase our new booth and watch our partners in the plant-based food category gain attention. We’re already looking forward to the next one!

The event, considered by many the “Super Bowl” for the natural product’s industry—features over 2,700 exhibitors, educational programming, and the best opportunity to spot emerging innovations and up-and-coming brands making their debut.


We’re looking forward to a full trade show season! If you’d like to speak with us directly prior to a show or want to schedule a time to meet at one of the shows above, please reach out at any time through our Contact Us page at



The Impact of “How2Recycle’s” New Polypropylene Labeling


In July 2022, How2Recycle, the North American recyclability labeling system, announced it was upgrading the eligibility of rigid polypropylene (PP) packaging from “check locally” to “widely recyclable” in the United States. 

This upgrade is a victory for The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, which launched two years ago to engage stakeholders across the value chain to improve PP recycling. Due to their efforts and the data they’ve provided, they were able to get the labeling upgraded, and distributed $6.7 million in grant money to improve sorting and education. 


Why it’s important.

“Widely recyclable” indicates that at least 60% of Americans can rely on curbside or drop-off recycling. This change in The How2Recycle labeling system helps educate consumers on how they can reliably recycle their rigid polypropylene materials. The previous label designation of “check locally” meant fewer Americans had access.

The new label helps remove confusion, deterrents, and any perceived inconvenience to the consumer and will help to promote and encourage further recycling of recyclable PP food packaging. Because of the new labeling, curbside access to PP recycling is expected to improve for 8% of households. That change could impact 20 million people and increase the amount of recycled PP by approximately 25 million pounds a year. That’s an additional 25 million pounds of post-consumer resin that will be available to packaging manufacturers as a replacement for virgin resin.

“We’re committed to leaning in and taking action in support of the material, to push ourselves and the industry to a more circular future. The precedent we are setting for materials, coalitions, and innovations is exciting and hopeful. We encourage companies to join us as we continue to lean in and push polypropylene recycling to new heights.”
– Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership.


Why we’re excited.

99% of the products Airlite produces are created from polypropylene. That’s why the recent announcement from the How2Recycle® labeling program is such a big win for all of us.

At Airlite, we’re constantly engaged in conversations and efforts to make recycling our products more achievable. For example, our preferred decoration method, IML, or in-mold labeling, is more sustainable than traditional pressure-sensitive labeling. With IML, the label is pre-printed onto a separate, thin layer of polypropylene and molded seamlessly into the container made of the same material, making the IML container and lid a mono-material package. This type of IML packaging, combined with the new How2Recycle status, will result in an easy, one-step, curbside recycling process where the label doesn’t need to be removed from the container.


Why it’s impactful.

The work of The Recycling Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition and the change in the How2Recycle® labeling of PP will help increase the amount of available PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic materials that can be reground and used in new products. This is key to fixing supply chain issues, creating a consistent supply of PCRs to meet increased demand, and helping companies meet their 5 and 10-year sustainability commitments to using PCRs in their packaging. 

At Airlite, we incorporate as much recycled PP material in our products as technology will allow. Some of our customers are utilizing PCRs in amounts that make up 25-50% of their packaging. This eliminates the need for virgin resin in 25-50% of the package.

We’re incredibly encouraged to see this nationwide shift in infrastructure to support polypropylene. This is a great step forward in pushing us all closer to a true circular economy.


Click here to learn more about our sustainability practices.



The Basics of PCR Plastics in Sustainable Food Packaging

At Airlite, we’re proud to partner with so many customers who share our vision of a circular economy and believe in the importance of minimizing raw virgin materials in our packaging.

We’re a leading proponent and consumer of post-consumer recycled materials. Any polypropylene product we make can be made using PCR resin.

Not only are they one of the most effective ways to achieve your sustainability goals, but their use also results in packaging that’s just as efficient, effective, and high-quality as those made from virgin resin.

The demand for PCR products continues to grow, but not everyone fully understands the process or the benefits.

Here are some things you need to know:


What exactly is PCR?

PCR stands for post-consumer recycled material. In short, this is everything we’re putting in the recycling bin. This means all the cans, plastic bottles, and paper materials that local recycling programs take in.

Recycling facilities can then remove the recycled polypropylene items and sell them off to companies that can process, melt, and grind the material into small pellets. And it’s these pellets that we can then use to create brand new consumer, food-safe packaging without having to rely on virgin resin.

Due to the significant color variation in recycled materials, products made from PCR resin traditionally result in a gray color. This is why most PCR products you see today are black or gray.


Why is PCR important?

Now more than ever, consumers and producers continue to demand more environmental responsibility from each other. It’s important that those committed to recycling see that the effort is worth it and are able to inspire more to do the same.

Normalizing the efforts to create brand new packaging from PCR resin is logical and critical. Increasing PCR use and decreasing the demand for virgin materials will only help us advance the recycling infrastructure in this country and allow us to make an even more significant, positive environmental impact.


What are the benefits of switching to PCR-based packaging?
  • Reduce your environmental impact — Using recycled materials will help you create more sustainable packaging, allow you to minimize waste and emissions, and reduce your overall carbon footprint.
  • Giving consumers what they want — Consumers demand companies adopt more sustainable practices and are often willing to pay more for products that reflect their values.
  • Demonstrating your commitment — Achieving a functioning, thriving circular economy will take PCR trendsetters to show other organizations and consumers that it can work. Being at the leading edge will help raise your organization’s profile and show others the importance you put on sustainability.


What products can be created with PCR?

Airlite is taking steps towards becoming a zero-waste company. All scrap leftover in our manufacturing process is reground to create new products. We’ve long repurposed recycled polypropylene scrap to manufacture other non-food products in our Fox Blocks® and TrueGrid® divisions.

But in the last few years, we’ve seen the development of a process that allows the use of PCR material in FDA-approved, recyclable food packaging. So now we’re finally starting to see more food-based products on the shelves packaged with post-consumer plastic, which is a massive win for the environment and all of us who are committed to bringing the circular economy to reality.

This is just the start for us as we continue to develop new products and partnerships with clients invested in the future of sustainable food packaging.