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Advantages of plastic

Plastic is a material that is not only highly suitable for the packaging industry in general, but for food packaging in particular. It scores better than packaging made of other materials, such as glass. Here is an overview of the major advantages of plastics:

Hygienic
Provided the necessary checks and tests are carried out, plastic packaging is ideal for hygienically packaging food, benefiting health. Water, for example, can be safely and inexpensively packaged and transported.

Prevents waste
Plastic packaging extends the shelf life of foods and limits damage, so it results in less waste.

Efficient
50% of all goods are packaged in plastic. Even so, in terms of weight, only 17% of packaging in Europe is made of plastic. On average, plastic packaging weighs just 3.1% of the total weight of an article packaged in plastic.

Weight
Plastic combines high rigidity with light weight. If plastics were not used for packaging, the total packaging weight would be almost 4 times as high.

Recycling
Plastic packaging can be fully recycled and reused for new products, and can also be used as fuel.

Prevention
The weight of plastic packaging per unit has decreased nearly 30% over the last 2 decades, and this trend looks set to continue.

Design
The design potential for plastic packaging is limitless. All kinds of shapes can be created, and every type of plastic has specific material properties which lend themselves to specific uses.

Functionality
Using sensors and indicators, smart packaging can provide consumers with extra information, such as temperature changes which the product has undergone. Active packaging can also keep products fresher for longer by absorbing or adding materials.

Source: NRK Verpakkingen / Denksatt, ‘The impact of plastics on life cycle energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in Europe’.

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