We all know that plastic bags are difficult to recycle, unsafe for the environment, and can be detrimental to health. Nonetheless, it is an undeniable fact that they offer the most convenient and functional packaging for consumers as well as businesses. They are widely used for retailing, parceling as well as shipping purposes all over the world. On an annual scale, the number of plastic bags used for various purposes is around five hundred billion. Of these, a large number is used for shopping purposes. National Resources Defense Council claims that the number of plastic shopping bags that a single family consumes every year is about 1,500 in the US. Regarding the use of plastic bags in each food packaging company, there is seen innovations in the design of packaging techniques. Such as, improved atmosphere packaging is available to keep the food fresh for a longer duration.
For that reason, we cannot disregard the many benefits of plastic bags only because they can be environment threatening.
Here are six not-to-miss benefits of plastic bags for food packaging.
#1. Extreme Durability
Plastic packaging is durable enough to endure severe environmental conditions; therefore, it does not cause damage in cold and hot temperatures easily. In this way, it preserves the integrity of beverages and food that is kept inside it. Moreover, plastic packaging protects the food from odors, light, oxygen, moisture, and dust. As a matter of fact, plastic packaging can last for a longer time when kept in appropriate conditions. This characteristic makes it a reusable packaging option as well and that too for an extended period of time.
#2. Less Energy Consumption for Recycling
In comparison to the recyclability of glass, plastic consumes less energy. This characteristic enhances its worth and usage to a great extent. Rendering to less energy consumption of plastic for recycling, around 1.3 billion pounds of plastic packaging containers were recycled in 2015. In comparison to a paper bag, a plastic bag takes up about 40% less energy for recycling. In addition, in contrast to paper bags there occurs 70% less solid waste in case of plastic bags’ recycling.
#3. Great Flexibility and Easy to Carry
Amongst the main benefits of plastic packaging in the food industry is its flexible nature. It is easily moldable into every kind of shape for instance containers, trays, and canisters. Due to the convenience of designing it into various different sizes and shapes, the identification of food products becomes easy too. In fact, one can simply identify a product by just looking at the shape of its packaging. One can also design creative packaging to attract more consumers, especially, the kids. For example, a colorful and fruit-shaped container would attract more consumers, thus, it is easily saleable.
Plastic packaging offers highly light-weight storage without requiring additional space for storing food. Due to consumption of less storage space, such type of packaging is easy to carry too far away places.
Regardless of its broad range of operations, plastic packaging is cost-effective due to which every type of industry can utilize it. Due to their cost-efficiency, in particular, manufacturers of small-scale products can take full advantage of them. Actually, it will cost 0.25 cent to use one plastic bag whereas the cost is 5 cents or above in case of using a paper bag. It simply means that buying plastic bags will be cost-saving for most businesses including food industry as well.
#5. Maintains The Quality of Food for a Long Time
The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that around 30-40% food remains unconsumed on yearly basis in the United States of America. In fact, the chances of consumption of food become higher based on the long duration for which it remains fresh. This is where plastic packaging plays an efficient role in keeping the freshness of foods for a relatively longer duration. Plastic packaging, being naturally protective, can be perfect storage container of food under risky conditions. In fact, it will retain the quality and freshness of food even in extreme weather conditions and for a long duration too.
Moreover, the environmental costs could rise due to the replacement of plastic with substitutes in packaging and consumer items according to a Trucost study, 2016. That is why; it is a sensible approach to use plastic bags as food packaging.
#6. Keeps Contamination at Bay
Plastic packaging maintains the quality of the stored foods appropriately; thus, prevents food items from catching any kind of contamination. Furthermore, it does not harm the nutrients present in the packaged foods. Because of the perfect air-tight packaging, plastic bags keep even the airborne contamination from food at bay. That is why; it is an exceptional packaging option to preserve the food.