Take a quick look around your home and office and notice just how many products have different forms of plastic in them. There’s your recycling can, the kids’ fire truck in the corner, the bottle of aspirin in your medicine cabinet and your water bottle on the counter.
Each of these products is made from plastic products but each is different and unique, something we rarely consider when we think about plastic products — if you think about them at all.
The media often paints all plastic products with the same broad stroke. After all, all plastic is made from hydrocarbons derived from petroleum or natural gas. So, plastic is plastic is plastic, right? Actually, no. While all plastic does come from petroleum or natural gas, the processes involved vary and affect the purity level of the finished product. That fire truck you just tripped over the eighth time varies significantly from the plastic in your garbage can, and, more importantly, from the plastic in your water bottle.
Any plastic that comes into contact with something humans will consume including beverages and food is held to a much higher standard than other forms of plastic. So, let’s take a look at what we mean when we use the term “food grade plastic.”
Many food grade plastic containers fall into the high density polyethylene — or HDPE — category. It has excellent chemical resistant properties making it suitable for a wide range of foods and other products.