If someone says ‘polystyrene’ it is likely you immediately think of those disposable foam cups you drink your take away coffee in, or the white soft inner packaging that is used for protection of delicate contents. But actually this form of polystyrene is only one way polystyrene can be used, polystyrene has become most famed for its foamed formation, but polystyrene can also be solid.
Polystyrene is the most widely used plastic due to its low cost and ability to be coloured or made transparent and it can be moulded into pretty much anything. Polystyrene in its various different forms is used in many things you wouldn’t even know from yoghurt pots, cd cases, disposable razors, building insulation and car bumpers and other parts. Polystyrene can be painted, glued as well as moulded. Polystyrene can also be recycled, minimising the effect on the environment.
High impact polystyrene called HIPS is a tough version of the plastic, being visually attractive and hygienic. Being completely non-porous, high impact polystyrene protects food from germs and bacteria, keeping contaminants outside. HIPS is very light weight, which is important to keep transport costs to a minimum. HIPs is completely non-toxic and odourless making it ideal for the food industry. Scientific research has shown that using cheap and disposable HIPS food packing is much more hygienic than washing and drying plates and cutlery and also saves labour costs, electricity and water charges.
Eating out has become more and more popular, with Americans now spending more money in food and drink outlets and restaurants than they do in grocery stores. In the UK the demand for home delivery of ready-to-eat food grew tenfold, with companies such as Deliveroo and JustEat cashing in on the demand. Eating on the go requires cheap, insulated, aesthetically pleasing packaging to be mass produced, and polystyrene and high impact polystyrene ticks all the boxes.
HIPS has good ability to retain heat, which is great for the food industry, who strive to keep their meals hot for as long as possible. Polystyrene products retain their shape even when warm for hours. High impact polystyrene can withstand humidity, unlike its food packaging competitor cardboard, which doesn’t do well with moisture. High impact polystyrene is also favourable over glass for food packaging, as it is safer: HIPS is shatter proof making it much more user friendly for children and more suitable for transport.
Using cheap food packing has two folded benefits: keeping consumer prices down and manufacturer’s profits up. HIPS ability to be moulded and coloured and printed upon makes it ideal for everchanging design trends in food packaging designs.
Plastic extruders Euro Extrusions Ltd has secured their position as market leaders in the production of thermoplastic sheet and film. Based in Lancashire, Euro Extrusions has amassed a wealth of knowledge in the plastic extrusion industry, knowing the market and predicting trends and listening to its customers requirements.
The plastic extruder’s most popular product is the high impact polystyrene, they manufacture HIPs in both sheet and roll form and both in virgin and recycled material. The company’s HIPs is suitable for food and catering use, being FDA approved. Euro Extrusions can even use their customer’s own virgin or recycled materials. Euro Extrusions also manufacture polypropylene and are certified ISO 9001 status.
For more information about Euro Extrusion’s products and services visit http://www.euroextrusions.com/