Types and safety of plastics used in food packaging – Industrad

What is plastic?

Plastic is a surprisingly versatile material with chemical elements in its origin. Elements from the periodic table, such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur, are the building blocks of the variety of plastics used to make many of the products we use every day. Some plastics are transparent and durable for use in eyeglasses or safety glasses. Other plastics are strong and lightweight allowing us to ship more products with less packaging. Plastic can be resistant to bacteria for use in lifesaving food packaging and medical Industrad equipment.

You don’t have to be a scientist to understand the many beneficial ways of plastic. Plastics are used in many types of food packaging and containers for a variety of reasons – they help protect foods from spoilage, provide food safety, and increase food freshness.



What are the different types of plastics used in food packaging?

You may have seen numbers 1 through 7 on the bottom or side of the plastic packing case. This number is the “resin identification code” also known as the “recycling number.” This number can also provide guidance for consumers who wish to recycle plastic containers. Many of the major types of plastic resins used in packaging (1 to 7) are recyclable. Most of the time, community-based recycling programs collect PET and HDPE plastic bottles, but many communities are expanding their programs to collect additional types of plastic.
Although most societies direct residents to recycle in the form of an item (such as bottles, holsters, hats, and toppers), Industrad also refer to the identification code for resin.
How do we know that the plastic used in food packaging is safe and non-toxic?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the safety of all plastics currently used in food packaging and food contact materials. A list of these approved materials can be found in the FDA database.

What does the number mean on the plastic? The resin identification code or recycling number on plastic identifies the type of plastic. Here are more information and examples of the most common plastics used in food packaging available at the Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE) and the Plastic Industry Association (PIA), along with safety information from the FDA.
The types of plastic and food products that are packed with
Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET)

Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET) is a lightweight plastic that is made to be semi-solid or solid which makes it more impact-resistant, and helps protect food or liquids inside the package PET is commonly used in food packaging for soft drinks, sports drinks, soda, ketchup, salad dressing, and vitamins.

Bottles of vegetable oil and peanut butter preservatives. Recyclable and to be sure to check with your community recycling center.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE)

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a tough, opaque, lightweight, but also strong plastic. For example, an HDPE milk container can weigh only 2 ounces but is still strong enough to hold a gallon of milk. HDPE is commonly used in food packaging for milk juice smoothies, Industrad, squeeze butter, vinegar bottles, and chocolate syrup containers, as well as for grocery bags. Has the FDA approved the food contact? Yeah. Is it recyclable? Yeah. To be sure, check with your community recycling center.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Chlorine is the primary ingredient used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a common type of plastic that is both bio and chemically resistant. These two characteristics help the PVC containers keep the products inside, including the medicines safe. The clear vinyl is used as the packaging for over-the-counter medicines, as well as the shrinkable type for a variety of products.

Vinyl is also used in blister packages (a container with a cavity or plastic pocket) as well as in mint or gum packaging. Has the FDA approved the food contact? Yes, is it recyclable? Yeah. To be sure, check with your community recycling center.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a plastic that is thinner than some other resins and also has high heat elasticity. Due to its hardness and flexibility, LDPE is primarily used in casing applications where thermal sealing is required but is also used in rigid applications. LDPE is commonly used in food packaging to make coffee can lids, bread bags, and six-pack soda can rings as well as fruit and vegetable bags used in grocery stores. Has the FDA approved the food contact? Yeah. Is it recyclable? If it’s solid, check a recycling center – Industradgroup
Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP) is somewhat stiff but less brittle than some other plastics. It can be transparent, opaque, or in a different color when manufactured. PP generally has a high melting point, which makes it particularly suitable for food packaging products used in microwaves or for cleaning in dishwashers for example.

PP is commonly used in food packaging to make yogurt packaging, maple syrup containers, cream cheese containers, sour cream preservatives, as well as prescription medicine bottles. Has the FDA approved the food contact? Yeah. Is it recyclable? Yeah. To be sure, check with your community recycling center.
Polystyrene (PS) – Industradgroup

Polystyrene (PS) is a hard, colorless plastic without much flexibility. It can be made into foam or cast into molds and give a fine detail to its shape when manufactured, for example in the form of plastic spoons or prongs. PS is commonly used to make plastic cups, deli plates, bakery products, fast food containers and lids, hot drink cups, and egg boxes. Has the FDA approved the food contact? Yes Is it recyclable? Yeah. To be sure, check with your community recycling center.
Symbol “other” or symbol number 7

The symbol “Other” or symbol No. 7 on the plastic packaging indicates that the packaging is made of a plastic resin other than the six types of resins mentioned above, for example, the packaging can be made of polycarbonate or bioactive (PLA) for example. Or it can be manufactured with more than one plastic resin.

In food packaging, Type 7 plastic is most commonly used to make five-gallon jugs of chilled water, some bottles of citrus juice and ketchup, as well as coffee cups and lids. Has the FDA approved the food contact? Yes Is it recyclable? Yeah. To be sure, check with a recycling center. When it comes to reheating food, don’t be afraid of the microwave. Industrad professionals said that:

Some plastics are specially created for microwave use.

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