Why is so much of today’s food packaged in plastic?

By Susan Brewer, Ph.D., University of Illinois,
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Plastic is lighter than glass and more durable under a variety of kinds of stress. For these reasons, plastics are now being used on a large scale for the packaging of both fatty and water-based foods and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. This is evident on the supermarket shelves: margarine is packed in plastic tubs, some beer and wine are packed in plastic bottles, and meats are packaged in shrink-wrap film on foam trays. Furthermore, foods are increasingly being shipped in bulk in plastic containers.
Susan Brewer, Ph.D. Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL


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