Fast Facts

Father and daughter (6-7) having barbecue in park, San Rafael, California, USAAs part of the way we live today, more of us are eating and drinking far from the family dinner table.

Plastic foodservice packaging enables our mobile, modern lifestyle by providing a convenient, affordable way to enjoy our meals, snacks and drinks.  But there’s more to it than that.  Public foodservice establishments such as restaurants, zoos, coffee shops, hospitals and schools could serve hundreds or thousands of people in a day, tens of thousands in a week.  Because plastic foodservice is hygienic, it’s used in many situations where peace of mind about food safety is critical.  It’s one less worry about whether the dishwasher was working or which kid had the sniffles.

From snacking on the street to quaffing at the café to noshing with our neighbors, our lives today demand the freedom and flexibility that innovative plastic foodservice products make possible.

Here’s how plastic foodservice packaging makes possible the way we eat and live today:


Hygiene is a good thing (especially during flu season!).  From the foam cup for our double grandee mocha half-caf latte to the clear clamshell that protects our California Rolls, clean is key.

Plastic foodservice products provide a sanitary way to serve fresh food at schools, restaurants, hospitals…even at home.  Sanitary foodservice products are a key part of helping prevent disease.  Reusable dishes and utensils require washing and drying—not always effective—after being used by someone else.

YUCK Factor

Plastic foodservice packaging is sanitary.  Reusable china and glassware depend on washing after use—and that washing has to be consistent and thorough.  Studies have suggested this is not always the case; for example, a 2002 study in Las Vegas found that 18 percent of reusable items tested had higher than acceptable bacterial counts.  And a 2007 study in Wisconsin found that unprotected tables and trays had 7 to 23 times higher bacterial counts than those with single-use placemats and tray covers.

When sanitary conditions are important, all of us—parents, teachers, students, hospital patients, customers—can have peace of mind with plastic foodservice packaging.

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Hot foods stay hot—cold foods stay cold.  And fresh foods stay fresher, longer.  From organic salads to spicy chili, plastic foodservice packaging offers convenience and comfort when we’re on the move.  Foam plastic in particular insulates extremely well to maintain food temperature, so we can enjoy food the way it’s meant to taste, instead of dealing with a soggy, leaky plate or a cold double bacon cheeseburger and limp fries.

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Plastic foodservice products generally are more economical—wholesale costs can be two, three, four, up to five times less than their paper-based or reusable counterparts (reusables require extra equipment, labor, water, electricity, detergent…).

In the highly competitive business of serving food, cost counts.  Plastic foodservice packaging helps all of us keep costs down, from mom-and-pop diners to our kids’ schools.  More than ever, in these tight economic times, keeping costs low is on everybody’s mind.  Why spend extra money when we don’t have to?

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FDA-Approved as Safe (For 50 Years)

The food safety benefits of plastic foodservice packaging are undisputed.  At the same time, the plastics used in contact with food are carefully regulated.  In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration regulates the safety of food contact packaging and has approved the use of plastics currently used in foodservice.  Many of these plastics have been approved for generations.  And other government agencies around the world have approved plastics for use in foodservice, too.

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Stop worrying about dropping glass and ceramics.  Plastic foodservice packaging allows us to carry our foods without the fear of shattering.

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It Works!

Let’s face it—if foodservice packaging doesn’t deliver food the way we want to eat it, then it doesn’t really make a difference how sanitary, convenient and affordable it is.  Uneaten food simply becomes waste.  Plastic foodservice packaging helps keep our food fresh, hot or cold and ready to eat.  Without leaking in our laps.  Or disintegrating in our car cup holders after a couple days.

A community volunteer can more readily deliver hot meals to the elderly and homebound.  A truck driver on a late night haul knows her coffee will stay hot in that sturdy foam cup.  And working parents can pick up the evening’s dinner on the way home—knowing it be warm for the kids.

Plastic foodservice packaging makes possible the way we live today.

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