Without plastics, our food industry wouldn’t be half as successful as it is now. From increased shelf life to revolutionised packaging, plastics have transformed the food industry for good.
The use of layered materials has resulted in various forms and durabilities of plastic being used.
Single layer plastic materials, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) trays are known for being widely recycled and their oxygen and moisture protection, producing packaging with added environmental benefits.
One the other end of the scale, multi layered materials have been used to identify the needs of another packaging problem – finding a replacement for glass. This can be incredibly difficult, and multi-layer polypropylene jars have been formulated to meet these requirements for long shelf life, whilst also retaining to lightness, easy opening factors and the authenticity of the products.
Lack of Waste
Plastics contribute to a lower rate of food waste. When people know they have options to store their leftovers, be this in cling film or Tupperware, they are less likely to throw them away and will almost certainly make use of them in the future.
Plastics also use less material than typical storage solutions, and therefore less energy and greenhouse gasses to produce. If you can make your plastic recyclable, you’ve created a triple threat product in terms of helping the environment.
Certain packaging now is built with antimicrobial technologies within the trays or film seals. This inhibits bacteria growing on the outside of food packaging, particularly meats.
In the future, this innovation could be expanded to all food lines and make a huge difference in the shelf life of some products.
Other forms of packaging have evolved only from the inclusion of plastics within the industry.
- Lightweight mono material trays – these trays boast strong environmental credentials and recycling capabilities, whilst also delivering great performance and functionality.
- Vacuum packing – providing an extra tight layer of protection and cross contamination prevention to meats and poultry, vacuum packaging is tough and space saving, yet a relatively simple and cheap product to produce that evokes quality.
- Infini bottle – this bottle was developed to be lighter in weight and boast a reduced carbon footprint whilst delivering the same purpose as ordinary products in the industry.
When working in a hot kitchen or with boiling materials, the last thing professionals want is utensils melting due to the low melting points of certain plastics.
Combining polymers and properties has allowed for heat resistant plastics, and therefore heat resistant kitchen utensils, to be produced and used wide scale in the industry.
We have a lot to thank plastics for, they’ve contributed to a highly efficient and safe food industry we use almost every day.
For more information about plastics and any of their properties, contact us at Rayda today.