In order to meet the ever changing consumer demands, complex packaging decisions have been made. Modern packaging decisions are influenced by several new challenges such as fast-paced lifestyles, working mothers, demands for more extensive labelling, and the call for more environmentally responsible packaging. Also, the demographic shift to an increasing number of smaller households and an aging population, and the increased food safety concerns are all factors in designing todays packages. The high versatility of transparent packaging along with all those complex consumer demands on packaged products make plastics an essential choice of modern packaging.
Plastics can be stretched into films as thin as a hair strand or as rigid as glass. Many plastic packaging is highly recyclable and reusable. They can take a wide variety of shapes, making them the ideal packaging material. Plastic transparent packaging also let consumers see the product inside without having to touch it, preventing product bruising, crushing or cross contamination. There are also films which can detect toxins and offer a barrier to food-decaying gas. The technology of tamper-evident food packaging using devices such as plastic shrink bands becomes a trend that protects consumers. This is because the primary purpose of food packaging is to safeguard the consumers from food poisoning. The reported cases of food poisoning in Canada every year is at 13 million. This is where innovations in plastic packaging play a critical role to prevent leakage, external food contamination, and minimize the spread of handling disease.
In addition, intelligent packaging is not only about the use of less material, but also to protect food from getting spoiled and be thrown away. Food production uses ten times more energy than manufacturing the package itself. Plastics offer a great solution in preserving food freshness and sustainability by extending shelf-life. More importantly, plastic packaging prevents food wastage. The use of plastic transparent packaging contributed to reducing food wastage to just 3% in countries like Canada and Europe. A study shows that a 1% increase in using this packaging material, there is 1.6% decrease in food waste. Apart from food preservation, plastics also offer high functionality. They are light, strong, durable, shatter-proof and can be easily molded and sealed to avoid leakage. All these points boil down to why plastic packaging is the ideal choice for most industries, particularly the food sector.