Which Type of Plastic is Used for Food Packaging?

Plastics are used in a variety of different food packaging products and containers for a number of reasons. Plastic food packaging provides hygienic food safety, prolongs the freshness of the food, and also helps to protect foods from damage.

There are many different types of plastic that are suitable for food packaging use and here are just a few of them:

HIPS is widely used in the food packaging industry because of its unique qualities of strength, hygiene, visual appearance, and ability to retain heat, while also not deforming when in contact with warm water.  High impact polystyrene is completely non-porous protecting food from germs and bacteria, keeping contaminants outside.  Food trays and coffee lids are amongst the products made from high impact polystyrene.

Virgin PET can be used for food packaging for cakes, cut fruit and salads amongst others.  PET is globally recognized as a safe, non-toxic, strong, lightweight, flexible material that is 100% recyclable. With a broad range of use temperature, from -60 to 130°C, it doesn’t break or fracture.

Polycarbonate has been studied and tested for nearly 50 years, and its use in products that come in contact with food is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as governmental bodies worldwide.  Polycarbonate is clear, lightweight, heat resistant, and shatter resistant – a significant safety advantage. This unique combination of attributes makes polycarbonate a great material for a wide variety of applications, many of them involving direct contact with foods and beverages.

All of the above products can also be recycled through nationwide recycling programs.

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