Whether it’s for mass catering or your own personal take out lunch boxes, food packaging has become a necessity in our everyday lives. But not all packaging is made equal. Packaging comes in all shapes and sizes, as well as materials. If you are thinking hard about your next lunch box purchase, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the common food packaging materials and some of their strong points.
Plastic packaging is made up of synthetic polymers which have been processed and moulded to the container’s shape. Some common types of plastic include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), and polyethylene (PE).
Since the manufacturing process is relatively cheap and has a low energy consumption, plastic has emerged as one of the most popular materials used in food packaging. That’s also why plastic containers can go for an affordable price on the market.
Besides the cost, plastic containers also have plenty of benefits for the user. They are very durable for their cost, so they are long-lasting and can easily protect the food inside. Additionally, most varieties of plastic are resistant to humidity, fats, and gases, making them perfect to package any type of food.
Paper & cardboard
Like plastic, paper is a cheap material that can be provided at an affordable cost to consumers. It is lightweight yet resilient, making it suitable for packaging most dry foods. Paper can be quite sensitive to moisture, but that can be easily rectified. Most paper packaging is actually made of a combination of paper and plastic to improve its water resistance. With this addition, you could even use your paper containers to carry soup!
Cardboard is made of the same base material as paper, but contains several layers of paper stacked on one another. This makes it much thicker and harder than paper, so you often see these used for heavier or larger items, like in your pizza boxes.
Glass is made of silica and is a completely inert material. It is also impermeable to gases, meaning that it can keep oxygen away from foods that spoil easily. It can also keep gases inside so that strong-smelling foods won’t stink up your entire fridge!
However, glass is fragile and breaks much more readily than other materials. You wouldn’t want to use a glass container as your lunch box, lest it shatters in your bag. Glass containers, like jars and jugs, are best used as more permanent fixtures in your kitchen. Use them to hold your condiments, snacks, or even baking ingredients.
You’ve definitely seen metal being used in canned beverages or canned foods, but it’s also used in lunch boxes. The iconic stackable food containers are typically made of stainless steel, which is extremely hardy. Such containers can easily last you for years, and can be used to hold practically any kind of food.
However, metal food packaging would naturally be pricier than the other options. If you’re looking for a set of disposable packaging, you can probably consider plastic or paper instead. That being said, metal is still ideal for those looking for a reusable and durable option.
While there are countless food container options around, each type has its own purpose. Those who require disposable packaging for catering can consider plastic and paper packaging, while those who want a long-term option can look at glass and metal. With adequate research, you will have no trouble finding a material that suits your food packaging needs.
Here at Supply Smiths, we have an array of food packaging products, ranging from plastic containers to glass jars. Whatever type of food container you need, we can provide!