Now that sustainability reigns and the world campaigns against plastic soup and litter, plastic packaging has come into a negative light. At times overlooked is the fact that plastic packaging can also offer (sustainable) advantages. In this article, we will explain four benefits of plastic packaging:
- Increased shelf life
- Fuel economy
- Reduced food waste.
We will also explain how thinner films can reduce the amount of plastic in packaging.
Without packaging, your food comes into contact with different surfaces and people. Which is not at all hygienic! Think about the cauliflower and apples you have placed in a basket on your way to the check-out. It is not unlikely that the customer before you had placed a shopping bag - with the necessary bacteria - in that same basket, or perhaps the cashier touches your apples after she had handled some soiled cash-money. Those are undesirable consequences of unpackaged products. Plastic packaging is ideal for sanitary food packaging, rendering plastic as beneficial to your health.
2. Longer shelf life
Another great advantage of plastic packaging is that it protects and preserves food. Allowing us to enjoy products from other countries that traveled for some time. Think of cucumbers from Spain, which impose a lower climate tax than those from the Netherlands. There is no need to heat greenhouses in Spain; this outweighs the emissions from transport in terms of environmental impact. With a plastic wrap around the cucumbers, the cucumbers' lifespan is extended; this makes plastic packaging the more sustainable option.
3. Fuel consumption reduction
Plastic packaging weighs less than paper packaging. Every 10% reduction in vehicle weight means a 5% to 7% reduction in fuel consumption and with that less CO2 emissions. An additional advantage is that your overall transportation costs are reduced. Another factor contributing to fuel reduction we mentioned earlier: when products have a longer shelf life, they can be kept for a longer time. This leads to consumers taking fewer trips to the supermarket.
4. Reduced food waste
Food is less likely to be damaged and spoiled in plastic packaging. Hence less food is wasted by producers, supermarkets, and consumers alike. The right (smaller) packaging makes it possible to buy the right quantities, resulting in less food ending up in the waste bin.
Optimal recycling of plastics with mono-material
So obviously, plastic packaging does have its merits. Sustainability improvements are also made in the plastic arena. For example, more and more mono-material is used, which makes recycling easier. Another improvement: plastic reduction by using thinner films. Complex composite films consist of several types of plastics and cannot be recycled effectively.
Challenges of thinner film
Many packaging manufacturers are looking for thinner packaging materials. However, lighter packaging materials present several challenges; for example, they are more difficult to process on packaging machines. And while it's no problem to pack a kilo of carrots in plastic, once you make the bag thinner, you run the risk of the carrots choosing the floor instead of the bag.
Thinner films at JASA
At JASA, we like to bounce our ideas off you, thus figuring out the options for wrapping your products in the thinner film. We adapt our packaging machines to your needs. Do you prefer a different or lighter film around your tomatoes or your mixed lettuce? At JASA, we make it possible. Together we will find the best packaging solution for your product.
At JASA, we are continually working to improve the processing of thinner films on our packaging lines. Our machines are optimized for this purpose. We put in the same effort to enhance sealing systems, filling methods, and film throughput. Thus, enabling you to pack with the advantages of (less) plastic!
Did we awaken your interest in our packaging solutions? Curious about the packaging solutions we have for your product? Please contact us, we will be happy to answer all your questions.