With the demand for reusable and refillable plastic storage options increasing, retailers, restaurant owners, and other brands that use this material are focusing on ways to improve single-use plastics or provide plastic containers that can serve two functions, such as a container for both food storage and reheating. To make these conventional plastic materials more durable, increasing their operational life and enhancing their mechanical properties, manufacturers often create additive masterbatches for their plastic products.
An additive masterbatch will add specific qualities to plastic used for containers, storage, and other purposes in a more cost-effective way than purchasing the polymer with these qualities already in place. In addition, additives can contribute to the sustainability of the product in addition to enhancing overall performance. Formulas for each masterbatch will vary based on the ultimate use for the plastic, ranging from enhancing its heat resistance or durability to providing more flexibility.
The Many Benefits of Using Plastic Additives to Enhance Polymers
Quality, impact resistance, UV-resistance, and even longevity are important attributes for plastics, especially if they are being used in the food packaging or restaurant industry. Plastics that come in contact with foods or will be used to heat or reheat food products must exhibit specific qualities to meet FDA approval requirements — and to provide better performance and safety for consumers. Some of the most common plastic additives and their uses include:
Anti-microbial plastics are a boon for the food industry, as they contain ingredients that can stunt microbial growth, protecting against many microorganisms such as fungi, algae, and strains of bacteria. Anti-microbial additives help provide a sterile environment while also protecting the polymer surface to add to its longevity and durability.
If you are packaging food, especially if it will accumulate moisture, you’ll want plastic containers made from polymers with anti-fog additives. Anti-fog additives like the ones found in Sunshine Supply’s anti-fog containers help provide your takeout and to-go containers with better transparency and a more attractive appearance.
Flame Retardant Additives
Flame retardant additives are an important element to make plastics safer for use when exposed to heat or flames. There are many types of flame retardant additives — brominated, chlorinated, halogenated, and non-halogenated, each of which has a specific use and effectiveness.
Any plastics that are rolled together may have the tendency to “block” or stick to one another, which often occurs with plastic films such as cling films, making them difficult to produce and unroll. Anti-block additives counter this tendency by micro-roughening the surface of the polymers and reducing their tendency to stick.
Static charges are the natural buildup of electric energy on materials that exhibit both high surface resistance and low conductivity. Although this is a naturally occurring phenomenon, static charges can cause spark discharges in plastics that can not only affect production, but also the end usage. Anti-static agents can help reduce or eliminate these charges by reducing the surface resistance of the polymers. One of the main uses for anti-static additives is in polyethylene plastics (PE) commonly used in packaging films in the food industry.
UV and Anti-Aging Additives
Heat and light can affect the look and function of plastics either during processing or through normal usage. Factors such as contact with ozone, ultraviolet (UV) light, and oxidation, among others, can degrade or change the properties of certain polymers. To combat this, antioxidants and UV stabilizers are often added to plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene to stabilize them and contribute to their strength, durability, and ability to stand up to environments where heat and light are common.
Need Dependable, Hard-Working Plastics for Your Business?
What kind of plastics does your business need to thrive? Whether you are looking for high-quality, BPA-free plastic containers that withstand heat or strong, resilient plastic bags for carry-out or bagging up purchases – we have you covered. Our line of premium plastic bags, containers, straws, and utensils will help you do more business while providing customers with safety and convenience. Want to know more? Just reach out to our team at Sunshine and we’ll be happy to assist you!