Why is Plastic Used for Meat Packaging


Meat is almost always packaged in plastic for several reasons. The main reason is to keep it protected and fresh during shipping and whilst it’s on display in shops. Packaging like paper can be affected by moisture and start to fall apart which is why plastic is so commonly used. Another reason is due to its transparency, which allows customers and distributors to see the products without having to open the packaging.

How to Notice Whether Meat Packaging is Recyclable


Understanding whether your packaging can be recycled is a fairly confusing process for most people as many materials vary so differently, even within the same products. The symbol that shows the green box with a white “circle arrow” above the word “Recycle” shows that the item is recyclable. The black box with the white “circle arrow” and a line through it above the words “Don’t Recycle” shows that the item isn’t recyclable. Some packaging my also feature a symbol that says, “Recycle With Bags at Large Supermarket”. This shows that although the packaging is recyclable, it can only be placed into certain bins rather than with your home rubbish disposal. Other packaging may be recyclable but only if it’s clean, for instance packaging that has been in contact with food or liquids. Once cleaned, these can then be recycled without issue.


There are several codes that can be found on plastic packaging that let the consumer and business know what type of plastic it is made from. It is a symbol with three arrows in the shape of a triangle and a number inside it indicating the material in question.


·      1 - PET (Polythene Terephthalate) – Widely recycled

·      2 - HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)- Recyclable – Check locally

·      3 - PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – Non-recyclable

·      4 - LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)- Recyclable – Check locally

·      5 - PP (Polypropylene) – Recyclable – Check locally

·      6 - PS (Polystyrene) – Recyclable – Check Locally

·      7 - Non-recyclable

Ways of Recycling Meat Packaging

·      Separate the materials and clean them thoroughly.


·      Place the clean cardboard, paper and recyclable plastic into your home recycling or take it to a recycling centre.


·      Upcycle materials you don’t need to throw away


·      Compost biodegradable packaging and materials.


·      Contact the brand and see if they accept their packaging back to keep it out of land fills and allow the company to reuse materials where appropriate.

Which Meat Packagings are Recyclable?


The materials on meat packaging that can be recycled without any issue are


·      Paper – Usually found on the branding labels or tags on the outside of the product.

·      Cardboard – Usually the container outside of the product itself or sometimes the tray.

·      Compostable Meat Trays —While not common, sometimes brands will use compostable materials like sugar cane pulp that means the product can be biodegradable and composted with food waste.


What Are The Alternatives to Plastic Meat Packaging?


Paper and cardboard are two very common alternatives to plastic that can be used to seal and store food products. Both materials are recyclable and can be sourced from renewable and sustainable tree plantations. Bamboo is another material that is commonly used in food packaging and is both renewable and recyclable.

Why Packaging is Important To Consumers?


Many people want to ensure that not only is their food safe and well packaged to guarantee freshness, but also that it doesn’t harm the earth. As more and more people take a greener approach to their lives, consumers want businesses to show they’re using more environmentally friendly materials in their products and packaging to help reduce their carbon footprint.

How First Food Can Help With Your Packaging Needs


First Food has years of experience in the world of food machinery and packing. As an independent business we understand how important it is to have the equipment and materials to keep your business running smoothly and to keep your customers satisfied. Our team of in-house experts are available to answer any questions and queries you may have, and our on-site engineers are available for both same day and next day call out. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to help businesses both big and small across a variety of sectors.