A closer look at recycling food packaging

There is a lot to think about when you look at food packaging. Firstly, it must be safe to ensure no chemicals contaminate the foodstuffs. Secondly, it must be durable to protect the foods. Thirdly, you should think about the impact on the environment and recycling. Finally, you need to look at the aesthetics. Using recyclable foils can be a great option for decorating different items here.

Different materials

Recyclable foilsThe main problem with food packaging is that it isn’t all recyclable. Some materials are, including glass and aluminium. You can recycle both of them an infinite number of times without a change in the properties. As a result, recycled glass or aluminium packaging is just as safe as virgin materials.

Some materials are recyclable but only a limited number of times. Common examples include paper, card, and PET. Sadly they do degrade and lose quality with repeat cycles of recycling. You also need to add virgin materials.

In addition, safety measures may be necessary for these materials when they come directly in contact with foodstuffs. For example, a carton may need a protective film. In some cases that can mean you can no longer recycle because the film isn’t suitable for recycling. Ideally you want to choose recyclable foils or films.

Finally there are materials where there are no processes to recycle to create new food packaging. This includes many types of polymer. The problem is there are safety concerns here, so it is better to use virgin material.


A lot of food packaging is made of different layers of materials. Just think about juice cartons. They are cardboard but have a lining to prevent leaks. In many cases the inner lining is not recyclable and needs to be separated from the carton. Then the cardboard can be recycled for new use, but generally not another piece of packaging for food.

In some cases it is too difficult to separate materials so the whole piece of packaging must be thrown away. This can happen due to linings, films, or even decorative labels and finishes.

Luckily, recyclable foils are really good here. You can add them to packaging with no worries about recycling. The foil is so thin it can often dissipate during recycling. It will only have a marginal impact on the quality of the recycled material.

The important thing is to be careful when you consider the materials for food packaging. You have to look at material properties, safety, and end of life options. It is also a good idea to factor in the impact of decorative touches, adhesives, and other additions.

Choose recyclable foils to make a great impression

Using foil is a great way to add decorative touches to different types of food packaging. There are plenty of options, from foiling logos to graphics. The fact that foils are available in a huge range of colours helps massively. It ensures you can produce creative, eye catching products.

We always recommend choosing recyclable foils. They provide the ideal combination of factors. Firstly, they look fantastic when you apply them to different materials. Plus, there is minimal waste and you can still recycle materials in the future.

So, if you want to learn more, please contact us.