sNearly 90% of food products on sale on supermarket shelves are packaged. This not only protects them from possible contamination but also gives them a better visual appeal. Among the main types of packaging used are those made of aluminum. Unlike other manufacturing materials like single-use plastic, this material can be recycled over and over again. This is one of the reasons why aluminum food packaging is widely used today.
Aluminum packaging: a story full of twists and turns
Aluminum is a non-ferrous metal found in the earth’s crust (about 8%). It rarely occurs in its natural form, since it is often combined with other elements such as bauxite. Unlike other minerals such as copper, gold, and iron, the first use of aluminum is very recent. Indeed, to be able to extract bauxite and transform it into aluminum, it was necessary to wait for advances in electricity production and the mining industry.
Historically speaking, the discovery of the first bauxite mine in Provence dates back to 1821. It was only in 1887 that the first aluminum manufacturing plant by electrolysis was created in Isère. However, the potential of aluminum was quickly exploited. It has multiple advantages so that it can be used as food packaging. Indeed, it is both:
- Sustainable, …
Initially, with a fairly high manufacturing cost, aluminum was considered a precious metal, just like gold. It was therefore used to make jewelry. In the imperial and royal courts of Europe, it was also used to make cutlery instead of silver. Its industrial potential was recognized in 1886. From there, it was exploited and used in all areas of activity. Currently, you will find different types of foil wrappers and cutlery in a tableware shop.
The sectors of use of aluminum
Aluminum is mainly used as an alloy in industrial applications. Indeed, thanks to its incredible properties, it is the main guarantor of innovation in companies.
The construction sector
It is used to design different products, in the following forms:
- Laminated products: suspended ceilings, blinds, partitions, gates, roofs, etc.
- Profiles: for verandas, pergolas, canopies, glazed facades, etc.
- In solid form: it is found in shelves, railings, guardrails, etc.
The transport sector
Its lightness and its high resistance to corrosion and deformation make it an essential material for means of transport (planes, cars, trains, and ships).
Demonstrating great resistance to UV, micro-organisms, and water, aluminum is currently found in high-tech industries and everywhere in daily life. It is particularly useful in the kitchen. In addition to the famous aluminum film, this semi-precious material is also used to design:
- Jar lids,
- Cans of drinks,
- Cardboard bricks, …
The aluminum recycling process
Although it is not biodegradable and compostable like sugar cane or corn starch, aluminum is a 100% renewable material, which makes it an excellent choice in the food industry. For it to be recovered, it must be sent for recycling:
- For individuals, simply collect it and deposit it in the yellow bins.
- And for professionals, recycling manufacturers take charge of aluminums waste.
Recycling aluminum is divided into a few steps:
- It is transported to a sorting center to recover it,
- Sorting to separate aluminum, steel, and ferrous metals,
- The aluminum is crushed and transferred to a foundry which is responsible for smelting and refining. When it regenerates, the aluminum is then cast into ingots and slabs,
- The new material obtained can be used to design new products such as cans, brake frames, radiators, etc.
Why use aluminum food packaging?
Both lightweight and flexible, disposable aluminum packaging is an ideal choice for packaging and transporting foodstuffs. They also have other advantages:
- Non-toxic, they preserve the aromas and quality of the foods they contain.
- Being a sterile material, aluminum is also hygienic. It protects food from UV rays and light.
- The quality of the non-ferrous metal does not degrade during use, which makes the packaging infinitely recyclable.
- The aluminum film is both odorless and tasteless.
- It only reacts with basic substances and highly concentrated acids.
- It does not absorb fluids.
In addition, contrary to popular belief, aluminum does not present a health hazard, as long as it is not in contact with acids. Even though it is single-use, it is still essential in the catering industry. Take-out professionals use them, for example, to contain food and drinks.
We offer an assortment of disposable aluminum products for all your needs. Sold at low prices, these ecological disposable items will meet all your expectations. If you want more choices in terms of colors and models, we also offer cardboard or biodegradable plastic packaging. Available in different shapes (rectangular, round, square, etc.) and colors (anise green, fuchsia, taupe, turquoise, etc.), these packagings are designed in compliance with high manufacturing standards.
To stay on-trend and limit your environmental impact, also opt for discount disposable tableware. Between cups, salad bowls, meal trays, plates, and cutlery, there are many choices to create a festive table decoration during a family meal or other receptions.
The author has completed his Master’s in marketing and started his career as a digital marketer. He is a content writer by profession. He writes about biodegradable and eco-friendly products like disposable lunch boxes