There was a time where the only way to get your food and perishables to last for more than a few days was to cover it in salt as a preservative. Fortunately we now have products that allow us to keep food fresh much longer without the need to dry it out or alter the flavor or consistency. The use of plastics can seal in food and protect it from the oxygen outside that can facilitate the growth of mold and bacteria.
Different types of food packaging are used across many entities in the food industry. Modern plastic food packaging, such as heat-sealed plastic pouches and wraps, have the ability to radically extend the life of fresh food by protecting from contamination. So much so that experts estimate each pound of plastic used in these products can reduce food waste by up to 1.7 pounds.
A product that has become a commonly used encasing for food is zipper packaging. These flexible plastic casings allow for foods to be contained in resealable bags whenever they’re not in use. Once someone is done snacking, they can simply close the zipper and the food is once again protected from outside contamination, greatly extending how long it remains fresh.
One of the most positive and hidden advantages that flexible plastics offer, is how much less raw materials must be used to contain and transport perishables. To transport around 10 gallons of liquids or beverages, only 1.5 pounds of plastic are necessary to contain it all.
Flexible plastics, including vacuum sealed and zipper packaging, can also expedite business operations, reduce production and transportation costs, and decrease the need for consuming and releasing fossil fuels. To transport food, the same amount of contents that would require up to 26 truckloads full of product, would only require one truckload for transit.
As more and more uses for flexible packaging products are developed in the food industry, from spouted pouches to zipper packaging, the shelf life of perishables will continue to increase. The longer these contents last, the less resources need be consumed.