It's a Wrap - Keeping Food Fresh and Safe

TORONTO, June 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whether it's the latest video or compact disc, a favourite beauty product, drugstore prescription, or afternoon snack – advances in plastics' flexibility, strength, and sealing abilities make them especially useful for a variety of packaging uses. Plastic packaging helps keep food and drugs fresh and safe until we're ready to use them and allows our grocery dollars to go farther, making plastic film & packaging a smart solution.

Plastic food wraps are used safely by millions of people every day to help protect food against spoilage and contamination. Good packaging is not just about using less material, but also about protecting food from spoiling and damage so we don't have to throw it away. Ten times more energy is used in the production of the food than in the package itself (INCPEN 2008).

Plastic packaging has provided an intelligent solution to food wastage in every country where it is employed. It not only helps preserve freshness, but contributes significantly to food sustainability because it extends the shelf-life of food. Levels of food wastage drop from close to 50 percent in developing countries where plastic packaging is not widely used to just 3 percent in countries like Canada and in Europe (INCPEN, 2008).

Compared to alternatives, commonly used plastic film typically:

  • uses much less material to package products;
  • takes less energy to produce;
  • takes up less space in shipment, storage, and at retail; and
  • reduces environmental impacts of transportation.

Today, there are store drop-off locations in most parts of Canada that collect plastic bags, overwrap and film for recycling. As well, most municipalities accept various types of plastic in recycling bins.

So what happens to the thousands of killograms of plastic film after it has been collected? Recycled polyethylene film is used to make a range of products, such as durable plastic and composite lumber for outdoor decks and fencing, home building products, garden products, crates, pipe, new film packaging, and plastic bags. One example: Trex uses 140,000 recycled plastic bags to make 500 square feet of decking – the company is one of the largest plastic film recyclers in North America.

Today's intelligent plastics are vital to the modern world. These materials enhance our lifestyles, our economy and the environment. For more information visit

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