What Makes Polyethylene the Ideal Choice for Food Packaging?

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June 7, 2023

The growing population inflicted rising demand for consumer goods – Food and beverage manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve their way of production and craft additional value. They are needed to ensure that the food item is preserved well and will remain in great condition until the point of sale and consumption. While there are myriad options and materials available that can be used for packaging food, plastic packaging has always been the #1 choice.

We all interact with plastic in our day-to-day lives; whether you are opening a fresh bag of potato chips or relishing crispy-wrapped homemade chocolate chip cookies – we come across plastic every day. Manufacturing professionals use plastic to neatly pack each food item – this is amazing! Moreover, plastic helps keep the fresh ingredients well-preserved and in good condition. Polyethylene food packaging helps protect our favorite snacks or food items from contamination. Its amazing qualities make this everyone’s go-to solution for food packing needs.

What is polyethylene packaging?

Since its discovery in the early 1930s, Polyethylene has become the widely used plastic in our world. Polyethylene comes in various forms, ranging from durable and strong plastics to soft and flexible packaging materials. It is commonly used in the development of different types of goods, which includes furniture, toys, cables, pipes, bottles, bags, and tubing.

What does ‘Food Grade’ mean in Plastics?

Food-grade plastics have to comply with the regulations; they cannot contain additives, dyes, and harmful items. Food-safe plastic contains recycled materials, but these fit the appropriate guidelines mentioned by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act passed by the United States FDA (Food & Drug Administration) defines food-contact elements as one intended for use in food manufacturing, packing, storage, packaging, and transportation applications without any risk of technical effects happening in the food material. The ‘technical effects’ mentioned earlier in this definition include leaching, which impacts the taste of food and beverages and poses a potential risk to human wealth-affected material consumed.

What are the benefits of plastic food packaging?

Plastic packaging is a flexible and adaptable method of packaging that allows the manufacturing company to customize its size, shape, and style as per the client’s needs.

Plastic packaging is an extremely lightweight storage material that doesn’t require ample storage space. Since they are space-efficient, they are easy to ship, therefore reducing the carbon footprint during shipping.

Plastic packaging survives extreme environments and doesn’t easily degrade in cold and hot temperatures, preserving the integrity of the food or beverage. It also protects your goods from oxygen, moisture, dust, light and odors.

Since plastic is durable and resistant to external contaminants, ensure your product is always well-preserved. This helps you avoid losses due to inventory wastage and helps you drive consistency in product delivery – therefore, improving brand value.

Being highly versatile, it allows easy recycling and reusing. In fact, these days, companies are creating customizable plastic bags that help optimize the recycling of plastic.

The amazing durability offered by polyethylene packaging allows manufacturers to create an aesthetically pleasing, captivating, and premium bespoke design that improves the product’s visibility in the retail realm.

Polyethylene packaging is economical and commonly used by all industries despite their size or scale of operations. The affordability of plastic food packaging is beneficial to small-size product manufacturers since it allows them access to premium packaging options.

What are the types of polyethylene packaging?

There are myriad classifications, but the types that are widely used in production are Low-Density Polyethylene and Linear Low-Density Polyethylene. Their versatility, pliability, and durability make them an ideal option for packaging consumer foods. Listed below are the types of polyethylene packaging you should know:

  1. High-Density Polyethylene: HDPE is the most common plastic bag used globally. They are light-in-weight, semi-translucent plastic bags that are highly resistant to extreme temperatures, moisture, and water. It has high tensile strength and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as it complies with their food handling regulations and guidelines.
  2. Low-Density Polyethylene: LDPE plastic bags are widely used as food and utility bags because they are crafted using low-density Polyethylene. They are breathable and offer high clarity, which makes them everyone’s first choice, especially in the fast-paced commercial restaurant setting. While they may not be as sturdy and strong as HDPE bags, they meet FDA regulations and standards. You can store bulk food items such as fresh produce, fruits and whatnot. LDPE bags are ideal for heat sealing because of their low melting point.
  3. Linear Low-Density Polyethylene: The major difference between LLDPE and LDPE is that LLDPE food packaging has a thinner gauge but with similar sturdiness. Therefore, it allows users to down-gauge and save money without compromising the bag’s quality. LLDPE bags meet the FDA requirements and are used for storing food in freezers and refrigerators.


Polypropylene: Unlike the other plastic bag options, polypropylene bags are not at all breathable and are used for storing food items like buts, herbs, and candies to extend their shelf life. Such plastic bags are highly chemically resistant and robust and are also FDA-approved. Additionally, PP bags have better clarity than LDPE and LLDPE bags.

Common Applications of LDPE and LLDPE

Polyethylene tubing and packaging bags – the versatility of LDPE products makes them ideal for wrapping consumer goods. The sturdiness, the thickness of poly tubing and bags ranges between .75 to 6 mil. Most packaging on the thinner side can be used for fragile and delicate produce like vegetables and fruits, while thicker ones are ideal for sharp and abrasive items like nails and screws. Additionally, these can be sealed and cut at any length, allowing them to fit right with a comprehensive range of goods.

Stretch Films – most extruded packaging films are made with LLDPE; a high stretch rate, clarity, and low shrinkage make LLDPE an ideal choice of polyethylene packaging solution for bundling goods such as water bottles and canned goods.

Contact Primary Packaging Inc. for premium-quality polyethylene packaging solutions.

The biggest advantage of polyethylene packaging is its personalization. Color, size, thickness, or branding, Primary Packaging Inc. can manufacture endless options for your brand. Our team understands your brand’s unique requirements and works diligently to meet them with every delivery. Do you need polyethylene packaging for perishable items or industrial packaging? Whatever your needs may be, we can make something out of it. To learn more about our services, get in touch with us or request a quote.