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Why is plastic packaging ideal for food?

26/08/2022

You may have noticed that most of the food packaging we come across every day is made of plastic. No wonder. This is because plastic retains the physical and nutritional properties of the food, is resistant to contamination and prolongs product’s shelf life.

All this is only possible because plastic is a versatile, lightweight, inert and non-toxic material, and for this reason it is considered the ideal material for food packaging.

Benefits of plastic packaging

Conservation → preserves food for longer, reducing waste and the need for chemical preservatives, as well as preserving the taste and nutritional value of the food;

Practicality → another advantage is that they are light and easy to handle without giving up excellent protection to the packaged food. The plastic can also be molded into several formats and supports printing, providing countless possibilities that aim at a better consumption experience, such as ease to open or to storage, and mechanical usage of the product, for example.

Price → because it is a lightweight material, plastic makes the entire production chain cheaper, which is directly reflected in the final price of the product, making the food more affordable for everyone;

Safety and Hygiene → the plastic packaging offers excellent protection against contamination by preventing the food from being exposed during transportation, storage and at the point of sale, since they are often transparent and allow the consumer to see the contents without touching the food directly;

Sustainability → unlike what we are used to hear about plastic and its environmental impact, it is not the ultimate villain. Plastic is widely recyclable; it makes the transport of products more sustainable because it is lightweight and because it allows large quantities to be transported in small volumes. For being resistant, it reduces food waste, one of the great villains of global warming. Another factor worth mentioning is that new technologies in mechanical and advanced recycling are being developed and improved to make more sustainable raw materials available, increase the recyclability of plastic materials and increase the quality of the final product.

Also in the realm of sustainability, there are studies based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that show that plastic performs better environmentally when compared to other materials. LCA is a scientifically-based technique standardized by ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), providing reliability and transparency. This methodology was developed to quantify the potential environmental impacts of a product throughout its entire life cycle. Thus, using the cradle-to-grave approach, LCA considers all the impacts of a product, from the extraction of its raw materials, its energy consumption, its manufacturing, its distribution, its use, and its recycling to its final disposal.

 

Valgroup Packaging

Valgroup produces packaging for the entire production chain of the food industry, from filling and packaging to transportation. All of them designed to the circular economy of plastics.

We are also one of the largest plastic recyclers in the world and have environmental commitments to create a more sustainable world.

Learn more about our environmental preservation initiatives on our website and social networks.

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