Plastics in food packaging

Plastics in food packaging

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Typical plastic container used in food packaging to protect and preserve perishable foods such as, in this case, pears. The types of plastics used in the three components of this packet are not identified, but the base/lid is labelled as 'Check local recycling' and the film sealant was labelled as 'Not currently recyclable '. Commonly used plastic polymers for this form of packaging are LDPE (low-density polyethylene) for the tray and lid, with LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene) for the film. Though plastics are considered safe, hygienic, lightweight and durable, they are largely non-biodegradable, unlike the paper bag, and where plastic waste ends up in the marine environment, particularly microplastics, they are harming aquatic animals. Some consider there is no alternative to landfill for wastes which are non-recyclable and non-combustible.

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Keywords: additive-technology, biodegradable, combustible, durable, eco-friendly, environmental problem, et, film, food, fruit, hdpe, high-density polyethylene, hygienic, landfill, ldpe, linear low-density polyethylene, lldpe, low-density polyethylene, marine environment, microplastics, non-recyclable, ocean pollution, oxo-degradable, packaging, paper, particles, pears, perishable, plastic, plastic debris, pollution, polybag, polyethylene terephthalate, polymer, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, pp, preserve, protect, ps, pvc, recycle, sealant, single-use, synthetic, waste

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