Cost Of Food Packaging Bottle


    Increasing use of plastic Food Packaging Bottle benefits consumers, but critics say the industry has not done enough to minimize the negative impact on the environment
    More and more foods in stores use high-tech plastic packaging, such as multilayer films.
    These changes are happening so slowly that most consumers don't even notice, but a large amount of plastic has climbed onto supermarket shelves. Shoppers throw a lot of plastic packaging into their shopping carts, which did not exist when they were children. Cucumbers wrapped in polyethylene film are now ubiquitous in the production department, as are sliced ​​fruits in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers and shredded ready-to-eat salads in polypropylene bags. People no longer need to make their own guacamole or hummus—it's already prepared in a convenient polypropylene bucket.

    Resealable plastic bags made of complex multilayer films can be seen everywhere in supermarkets. Shoppers can find them on dry goods shelves containing granola, brown sugar and beef jerky. They are hung in refrigerator cabinets displaying shredded cheese and cold cuts, and stacked in refrigerators filled with chicken, fish sticks and French fries. Even tuna is beginning to appear in easy-to-open metalized pouches instead of the familiar thick cans. Vacuum-packed steaks, ribs and chicken are increasingly appearing in cases in the meat department.

    simply put
    Plastic packaging is taking over supermarkets and almost wrapping all the food we buy. Environmentalists say that this material is causing huge environmental damage to the planet, and the chemical industry should take more measures to make packaging easier to recycle. The industry acknowledges the need for improvement, but says it is dealing with a greater environmental challenge-food waste.

    Many industry commentators believe that all of these plastics are a little too much. A few years ago, designer and sustainability guru William McDonough told a reporter at "People are very curious about how stupid modern packaging is."

    For McDonough and like-minded critics, flexible plastics, especially the newer multi-layer films, are another one-off social surplus. They are more difficult to recycle than the simpler metal, paper and glass containers they replace. Too much new material ends up being landfilled or floating in the ocean. And they make it easy for people to simply discard things, regardless of the damage they cause to the earth.

    However, the packaging industry does not think its products are so stupid. It sees plastics as a solution to another major environmental problem: food waste. Flexible plastics will not break or dent, and if they are carefully designed, they will not tear or puncture. Their multilayer structure ensures the long-term preservation of internal food. And they are lighter than metal or glass and lower transportation costs.

    "Today's plastic packaging is more than just a shopping bag or wrapping paper," said Cindy Shulman, vice president of ExxonMobil Chemical Packaging and Resins. "It's really about preserving and protecting food and making it available to people."

    At the same time, the industry can't help but acknowledge the negative impact of plastic waste. The company is responding by making plastic thinner, saving materials, and impacting the environment. They also started to make packaging simpler and thus easier to recycle. Through these steps, they hope to avoid a serious backlash.

    Consumers enjoy the convenience of plastic packaging, even if they are not aware of the amount of engineering in the multi-layer structure. "Even in the packaging industry, there is no such awareness," said Jeff Worcester, global director of sustainability for Dow Chemical's Packaging and Specialty Plastics division. "If you talk to professionals who design corrugated containers, they may not understand why we use more than one type of plastic to make packaging."

    But all polymers in packaging films have their own special reasons. Susan Selke, dean of the School of Packaging at Michigan State University, explained that the main force is polyethylene. "Generally speaking, if polyolefins can do the job, then they will be the cheapest," she said.

    Polyethylene gives the packaging volume and structural integrity. If higher toughness is required, packaging companies may choose PET, which is the resin of choice for beverage containers. Polyethylene can also be used for airtight packaging. But generally lower melting point ethylene-vinyl acetate is a better choice. If the food in the package is greasy, food companies may choose high-end sealants, such as DuPont's Surlyn.

    Most food packaging requires a barrier layer to prevent oxygen. Ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) is very popular because it blocks oxygen more effectively than polyethylene, PET or nylon. Selke said that if more barriers are needed, the packaging may contain metallized film.

    In order to explain what flexible packaging brings to the food industry, experts often cite two examples: cucumber and meat.

    Shoppers may wonder what plastic does on cucumbers, which have been good for years. But polyethylene shrink wrap can protect the surface of cucumber and help it retain moisture. According to the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), the film extends the shelf life of cucumbers from three days to 14 days.

    The steaks that consumers buy in supermarkets are usually packaged in polystyrene foam trays and polyvinyl chloride films in the store’s own meat department. According to FPA, steaks can usually be kept for four days when distributed in this way. If the meat is processed intensively and vacuum-packed in a multilayer film including an EVOH barrier, it can last for nearly a month.

    Environmental advocates acknowledge the benefits of multi-layer packaging. Unlike other controversial products in the plastics industry (such as plastic bags and polystyrene foam), they are not directly prohibited targets. But environmental activists believe that the industry should take measures against the increasing packaging waste in the environment.

    Everyone admits that multi-layer flexible containers are more difficult to recycle than simpler packaging such as aluminum cans or PET bottles. These layers cannot be separated, so they are shredded and re-extruded into plastic pellets. Generally, they are classified as lower-value uses, such as plastic wood for park benches, rather than new packaging. Activists believe this degradation, called cascading recycling, is the last resort.

    In January, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a report that quickly had an impact. "The New Plastic Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics" attempts to coordinate industry and activists on packaging issues. The report is the product of inputs from environmental organizations such as the Marine Conservation Association and companies that are important to packaging such as Dow, consumer products company Unilever, and packaging company Amcor.

    The "New Plastic Economy" details the scale of the packaging waste problem. In 2013, industry produced 78 million tons of plastic packaging globally. Among them, 40% are landfilled, and the other 32% are "leaked" into the environment, polluting the land and sea.


    According to the report, only 28% of plastic is collected for further use. Half of it is incinerated as energy. The other half was recovered. After handling losses and cascading recovery, only 2% of the initial 78 million tons were recovered to the high-value applications from which it originated.

    Between the collection of a small amount of plastic and the use of lower value, only 5% of the original value of the packaging is retained. Due to the current system, the economic loss is as high as 120 billion U.S. dollars per year.

    Highly engineered

    Each component of the flexible multi-layer package gives important functions to the overall architecture.
    Note: This example is generic. Different products and environments require different layer arrangements.

    Photo Credit: Yang H. Ku/C&EN/Shutterstock

    "You have this kind of highly engineered packaging, it may be used for a few weeks, and then it will be placed in the landfill for hundreds of years," said Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of the corporate responsibility group As You Sow, who was formerly Ai Report of the Lun MacArthur Foundation. "Whether you are an environmental advocate or not, this is a waste of materials of great value. This is not a good business."

    These economic losses are not the only problem with plastic waste mentioned in the report. It pointed out that there are currently an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic in the world's oceans. Packaging accounts for more than 60% of the plastic recycled in coastal cleanup operations. The report said: "If no major action is taken, by 2050, there may be more plastic in the ocean than fish in terms of weight."

    The environmental costs of packaging add up. Trucost is an advisory group that calculates the environmental impact of business activities in U.S. dollars and conducted a study on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme in 2014. Its report "Assessing Plastics: The Business Case" is used to measure, manage and disclose the use of plastics in the consumer goods industry," focusing on costs such as disposal and greenhouse gas emissions.

    The report found that the environmental cost of using all plastics is $75 billion per year. The food and soft drink industries are the largest contributors, accounting for 23% and 12% of the overall impact, respectively.

    The cost of plastic packaging is high, but the cost of not using it may be higher. Ask any packaging industry official about sustainability, and food waste will soon appear.

    In fact, the problem of food waste is related to some amazing statistics of its own. According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the world wastes one third of its food every year, or 1.3 billion metric tons. The environmental protection organization Natural Resources Defense Council stated that in the United States alone, $165 billion was spent on the production of wasted food. The production of wasted food accounts for 25% of fresh water use in the United States and 4% of oil consumption in the United States.
    In fact, whether it is food packaging or other packaging, it is actually the same. Just like for cosmetics, 100ml Plastic Spray Bottle is an ordinary packaging, but you will need to consider the cost when using it.