Why Is Polyethylene Used in Food Packaging?
While there are many packaging materials available on the market, polyethylene is one of the most often used when it comes to food packaging. Due to its chemical resistance and cheap cost, it is the most durable kind of plastic available today. Polyethylene, or PE, is a petroleum polymer that is resistant to environmental dangers. Consider the following eight benefits of polyethylene packing.
PET is the most widely used plastic on a global scale. Plastic is mainly used in food packaging that needs a glass-clear appearance, such as fresh salads, fruits, cold meats, and snacks. PET is a very durable and flexible plastic with a good impact strength. Furthermore, PET packing is lightweight and unbreakable. PET is 100% recyclable and has a plethora of innovative applications.
PET comes in a variety of forms: APET (amorf PET), CPET (crystalline PET), DPET (direct-to-sheet PET), and rPET (reactive PET) (recycled PET). The following are the main reasons why polyethylene is used for food packaging.
1) Increased Protection
Polyethylene is impervious to leakage, which implies that it does not let the passage of water vapor. It is heat sealable, which means that the plastic may be wrapped around the object as well as sealed airtight.
2) Extremely Flexible
Polyethylene is a highly flexible and readily stretchable polymer. This makes it ideal for food packaging. Along with security, it provides an excellent advertising alternative that can be tailored to the product, making it very flexible. It is available in a variety of thicknesses and clarities, as well as designer colors, for a more personalized look.
3) Extremely Compact
PE is a lightweight material that does not need a lot of storage space. As a result, it is lightweight, decreasing the carbon footprint associated with transportation.
Along with providing a moisture barrier, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), a kind of PE, is a low-cost, simple-to-process, transparent packaging material.
PE is robust and resistant to environmental consequences, ensuring that the food is preserved. HDPE is a kind of PE that is resistant to punctures, tears, and stretching.
6) Superior Rigidity
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is derived from polyethylene, has a higher degree of stiffness than other types of plastic. It retains a strong protective shell and has exceptional moisture resistance.
Polyethylene sheets packaging is easily recyclable, as is polypropylene food packaging since it is thermoplastic. This means they melt when heat is applied and may be repeatedly molded. Therefore, this polymer may be repurposed after recycling. Polyethylene is also more extensively recycled than other food packaging materials like polypropylene.
Polyethylene’s cheap cost of manufacturing has led companies to choose it over a variety of other polymers. Polyethylene has the lowest melting point of all of the standard packaging polymers. The lower softening point leads to reduced energy expenditures associated with processing. Polyethylene is classified into three types: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), and Linear Low-Density Polyethylene.
Polyethylene Types and Their Other Applications in Packaging
High Density (HDPE)
Compared to other polymers, high-density polyethylene offers a number of benefits. HDPE is inexpensive, simple to process, has a strong moisture barrier, and may be used to create an opaque packaging product.
The following is a list of commonly used HDPE packaging products: Shampoo bottles, oil bottles, home cleaning bottles, blown mold drums, and flower pots are all examples of typical goods. The majority of blown containers are opaque to enhance their look and marketability. Clear HDPE containers often exhibit a milky haze, as shown in the picture to the right.
Extruded Packaging Films – A large number of retail bags are constructed of extruded HDPE polymers. Grocery bags, packing films, garbage bags, and a wide variety of retail packaging bags are all common items. HDPE has superior puncture resistance, low stretch, less tearing, and moisture resistance.
High-Density Polyethylene film is available in a range of thicknesses to meet specific requirements. The majority of HDPE extruded films are available in thicknesses ranging from 2 to 10 mils.
Low Density (LDPE)
These are by far the most frequently used kinds of polyethylene in the packaging sector. LDPE and LLDPE are used to manufacture a wide range of packaging goods. The low cost of manufacturing, excellent clarity, heat sealability, elongation, and softness of various types of polyethylene are the main reasons they are often used in packaging. The following is a list of commonly used packaging materials made of LLDPE and LDPE.
Extruded Packaging Films — The majority of stretch film is produced from blown LLDPE extrusions. LLDPE provides the required high rate of Polyethylene Shrink Film Stretch for stretch film. Low-density polyethylene is used to manufacture a large number of polyethylene bundling shrink films.
Polyethylene with a low density has a low shrink temperature and good clarity. Wrapping water bottles and canned foods are one of the most frequent applications for polyethylene bundling film. Polyethylene shrink film is stronger and thicker than polyolefin or PVC shrink film.
Bags and Tubing for Packaging — The majority of stock poly bags used to wrap a wide range of goods are composed of low-density polyethylene. LDPE is used to manufacture all of our flat poly bags, ziplock bags, and poly tubing. Bags Made of Polyethylene Typically, thicknesses vary between 1 and 6 mils. Polyethylene flat bags and tubes may be sealed using a heat sealer, staples, or twist ties. Nails, knives, and a variety of other sharp items are packaged in thicker poly bags.
Containers manufactured by injection molding or blow molding – Many bottles and containers are constructed from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or low-density polyethylene (LLDPE). Containers that need flexibility and transparency are often made with LDPE. Numerous bottles and containers with squeezable lids are made of low-density polyethylene. Squeezable honey jars are popular containers made of low-density polyethylene.
There are many different types of packaging available on the market. It may be difficult to attempt to choose the best packaging for your goods when you are searching for the finest packaging for your product. In the area of packaging, there are a lot of options available to choose from. Polyethylene packaging is among the most commonly used materials; nevertheless, why is polyethylene packaging a suitable option for your product?
Polyethylene is a type of plastic that is produced from polymers found in petroleum. This is a very durable kind of plastic now available on the market. It’s also very cheap as well as chemically resistant to a high degree. This implies that it can withstand a wide range of environmental dangers. Polyethylene packaging is generally regarded as superior to certain other types of packaging materials as a result of its unique features. This is one of the reasons why it is so extensively utilized.