Trieu Du Bon Plastic Production Co. Ltd

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Uses of plastic and paper packaging

Mounting cautions have surfaced regarding the possibility of causing cancer of plastic packaging.

Plastic packaging can be in a wide array of forms: crates, boxes, pots, trays, baskets, bags, films and tubes, which are common items in daily life. Not a few people have grown concerned over the cautions that plastic packaging can cause cancer and consumers should switch to paper packaging.

Associate Professor- Doctor Ho Son Lam, of the HCMC Academy of Science and Technology, has confirmed that conventional polymer such as PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS has long been used in food packaging. These materials do not do harm to human health if they are used to wrap food in normal conditions and for not a long time.

Each type of plastic has different properties and purposes. The thing that counts is that whether producers use standard, guaranteed plastic, whether hygienic criteria when packing products are complied with and whether products are of ensured quality.

Therefore packaging is only part of toxic factors (if any). According to Associate Professor- Doctor Hồ Sơn Lâm, Vietnam imports most types of plastic from other countries. Therefore producers usually have to abide by criteria to fit technology.

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Overall, there is no concern over the plastic types used in packaging and water bottles at companies or businesses adopting modern technology and imported raw materials.

Only products from recycled resin or of unclear origin pose real hazards, as they usually cannot meet packaging plastic requirements.

Associate Professor- Doctor Dong Thi Anh Dao, of the Food Technology Department at HCMC University of Technology, has revealed that it is really difficult to assess the quality of plastic packaging currently used to wrap food, particularly readily-made food. Many types of packaging made from recycled resin concocted from different types of resin, and even with chemicals added can only have their ingredients revealed after laboratory analyses.

Hence, to protect their health, consumers should only choose to use packaging sealed with marks of the following types of plastic PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS. These chosen products should also show evidence of clear origin and producers’ trade name. Consumers should stay away from colorful food packaging.

Paper packaging has also been adopted to wrap a wide variety of food, ranging from dried food such as cereal, bread, cookies, tea, coffee, sugar, and powder to frozen food, cold-preserved food, ice cream, liquid food like soft drinks and beverages (fruit juice, milk and milk products), chocolate and candy; fast food; fresh produce (fruits and vegetables, meat and fish). Consumers have recently been encouraged to use paper packaging to hold food for environmental protection causes.

However, as paper is easily prone to water penetration, wear and tear and decomposition, all-paper packaging can only be used to wrap a few kinds of food in a very short time. “As for processed food such as meat, vegetables and fruits, there is no guarantee that paper packaging will do good. The origin of paper, paper production technology and paper preservation methods are factors that can affect the quality of food,” Dr. Ho Son Lam said.

In reality, to boost impenetrability and protection from being torn, producers have covered the paper surface substances used to produce plastic packaging such as PE, PP, PET, aluminum films or wax. In such cases, paper have some properties of plastic packaging. If consumers use paper packaging to wrap readily-made food, they should avoid dyed paper or paper with printed words.

Dr. Ho Son Lam has noted that if consumers choose to use nylon bags to hold quickly-frozen food, they are advised to cleanse, sterilize and dry the bags before use. They should not abuse plastic items to hold sizzling food or hold water for a long time without proper hygienic procedures. Nylon bags and colored plastic are usually recycled items, which should be used with caution. It’s best that these items are not used for food.

Different types of aluminum films used as food wrappings are a desirable choice, but consumers should make sure their surface is non-contaminated before use.


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