Plastics And The Restaurant And Food Packaging Industry

The food industry has benefited like no other when it comes to innovations in plastic: Plastic dinnerware, plastic packaging, plastic storage — the list goes on and on. From sanitation to efficiency, food industry plastic parts have made it easy for restaurants and food packagers to be safe and smart in their operations. The food industry continues to embrace plastics and welcomes new innovations.

What are some of the top ways that plastics have helped shape the food industry for the better? Read on to learn more:

Safety

Over the last century, plastics have revolutionized food safety efforts. We have higher standards than ever before, and are able to meet them because of plastics. For starters, plastic is by far more sanitary than metal because it can be easily disposed of and cheaply replaced. The ability to swap out contaminated tools and utensils has resulted in plummeting rates of foodborne illness. That means benefits for food packaging (where people and tools come in contact with consumable food) and in restaurants (where cooking staff and servers can use clean plastics — not to mention diners who have access to cleaner eating utensils).

Quality

When handling, packaging and preparing food, it is important to know that you have the best tools available, so it’s notable that plastic does not sacrifice quality for convenience. In fact, in manufacturing, plastic is considered one of the highest quality materials available, considering its versatility. Plastics are made to be strong yet flexible. They are also very durable, making them well suited for the food industry, where access to quality tools is everything. Along those lines, plastic is malleable and easy to work with throughout the manufacturing process, which helps manufacturers achieve just the right amount of flexibility versus sturdiness while creating virtually any shape.

Versatility

It’s hard to believe that one material can be used for so much, but it’s true. Plastic has found its way to basically every stage of food processing, packaging and serving. Much of this has to do with the very nature of plastics, which allow manufacturers to easily shape and customize. Companies have access to a wide range of plastic types and polymers, all suited for different purposes — from lightweight utensils and wrapping materials to heavy-duty cutting tools.

Cost Efficiency

The food industry is held to an incredibly high standard and is uniquely challenged to reduce expenses without cutting corners. Plastics are one way the industry has stepped up to the challenge. When compared with steel, plastic parts and tools are less expensive to produce. Similarly, it is by far more lightweight and less expensive to ship. In terms of food packaging and stocking restaurants, plastic is a very economical option.

Innovation

Because of the versatile properties of plastic as a material, manufacturers and engineers can be incredibly innovative. Packaging is just one sector within the food industry that innovations come fast and furiously. For example, different resins can be used for both lightweight and heavy-duty packaging. Plastics can be made to transport food and allow the consumer to eat it on the spot (think ketchup packets that double as holders). When it comes to plastic innovations, the food industry is fertile ground.

How We Serve the Restaurant and Food Packaging Industries

First American Plastic is a leading manufacturer of plastic parts and components, and the food industry is just one of many where we have considerable experience. In addition to food industry plastic parts, we provide services for a wide range of sectors. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.