Top 5 Benefits to Using Plastic Trays Instead of Paper Ones

Food packaging and storage have come a long way over the years. There are now more choices than ever regarding what type of container you want to use.

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly option for your foodservice needs, you should consider using plastic trays instead of paper ones. Plastic trays are made from recycled materials and can be reused multiple times. They are also lightweight and easy to clean.

Different Materials  Used in Tray Manufacturing

There are a few different types of plastic that can be used to make trays. Some types are explained in detail here:

Thermoformed Plastic

This type of plastic is heated and molded into the desired shape. It is then cooled and trimmed to size.

Thermoforming mold is clamped shut, and the heated plastic sheet is placed over the mold. Air is then sucked out of the mold, which causes the plastic to shrink onto the mold. The vacuum is then turned off, and the plastic sheet is released from the mold.

Thermoformed trays are solid and durable, but they are also more expensive to produce than other types of plastic trays.

Injection Molded Plastic

This type of plastic is melted and injected into a mold. It is trimmed into the needed size.

Injection molding machines are similar to thermoforming machines, except that the plastic is melted and injected into a mold.

Blow Molded Plastic

This plastic is melted into a mold. It is then cooled to make the correct size.

The plastic is melted and blown into a mold instead of injected.

Blow-molded trays are the least expensive to produce, but they are also the least durable.

Rotomolded Plastic

It is molded over a rotating mold and trimmed to size.

Rotomolding is the most common type of tray manufacturing process. It is ideally used in the production of large trays.

Composite Plastic

This type of plastic is made from two or more types of plastic. It is then heated and molded into the desired shape. It is the best choice for products that need to be durable and lightweight.

Top Benefits of Using Plastic Trays

Now that you know a little more about the different types of plastic trays, here are some of the top benefits of using them:

Recyclable

All types of plastic trays can be recycled. It makes them a more environmentally friendly option than paper trays. Recyclability means that the plastic tray can be melted down and reused to make new trays. Here are the steps used for recycling plastic:

a) Collect all of the plastic trays that you want to recycle.

b) Separate the different types of plastic.

c) Clean the trays.

d) Put the trays in a recycle bin.

e) Take the recyclable trays to a recycling center.

f) The recyclable trays will be melted down and turned into new trays.

Durable

Thermoformed, injection-molded, and blow-molded trays are all very durable. They can be used multiple times without breaking or cracking.

It makes them a more cost-effective option than paper trays.

Composite plastic trays are also very durable, but they are lightweight and easy to break. Rotomolded plastic trays are the most durable, but they are also the heaviest and most expensive to produce.

Durability depends on the following factors:

a) Material

The type of plastic used to make the tray will affect its durability. For example, thermoformed trays are more durable than blow-molded trays.

b) Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process also affects the durability of the tray. For example, blow-molded trays are less durable than thermoformed trays because the plastic is thinner.

c) Design

The design of the tray also affects its durability. For example, a tray with sharp edges is more likely to break than a tray with rounded edges.

3) Reusable

All types of plastic trays can be reused. They can be washed, sanitized, and used again for food or other products.

Reusability means that the tray can be used multiple times without being thrown away. It also reduces the amount of waste produced by the food industry. The food industry is responsible for more than 30 percent of the world’s waste.

When you reuse thermoformed trays, you also reduce the amount of plastic produced. Reusable trays are a more environmentally friendly option than disposable paper trays.

Reusability depends on the following factors:

a)  The tray’s ability to be cleaned and sanitized;

Sanitization destroys or removes all life forms, including bacteria, viruses, and other parasites.

For example, a dishwasher with a hot water rinse and detergent will clean most trays.

b)  The type of plastic used in making the tray;

Some plastics are easier to clean and sanitize than others. For example, polypropylene (PP) is a plastic that is easy to clean and sanitize.

c)  The design of the tray;

Some tray designs are easier to clean and sanitize than others. For example, a tray with recessed areas and tight corners will be harder to clean and sanitize than smooth surfaces and rounded corners.

d) The type of food or material being stored in the tray;

Some foods and materials are easier to clean. For example, a tray used to store raw meat will be harder to clean than a tray used to store cooked food.

e) The environmental conditions in which the tray is stored;

The environmental conditions in which the tray is stored can affect its ability to be sanitized. For example, a tray stored in a wet environment will be harder to clean and sanitize than a tray stored in a dry environment.

4) Durability

Plastic trays are more durable than paper trays.

Paper trays can be easily torn or ripped, while plastic trays are more resistant to tearing or ripping. It means that plastic trays can be used multiple times, while paper trays can only once.

Plastic trays are also less likely to sag or fold than paper trays. It means that they can be used for heavier loads, such as when carrying food or materials.

5) Cost

Plastic trays are cheaper than paper trays.

It is because plastic is a less expensive material than paper. It means that using plastic trays can save businesses money.

Conclusion

Plastic trays are a more sustainable option than paper ones. They can be recycled and reused multiple times, making them more environmentally friendly.