What Materials Are Used For Packaging Food?

  • By Piber Plastic
  • September 27, 2022

What Materials Are Used For Packaging Food?

The oldest form of packaging might be terracotta or clay vessels, found in ancient ruins of civilisations all over the world. Packaging has evolved over millennia to suit the customer’s needs, achieve longer shelf life, and keep the products safe through their journey from the manufacturer to the consumer.

Starting with terracotta, the packaging industry has evolved over time to experiment with other materials over time, starting with paper. With the industrial revolution, glass and metal containers became common, and the youngest of them all is plastic packaging.

Read on to learn more about the functionality and practicality of the different materials used for packaging your food.


Paper has excellent strength-to-weight properties, meaning you can get more bang for your buck! Paper is usually treated with materials such as waxes and resins to provide protective or functional qualities. Its use for food packaging dates back to the first or second century BCE.

Even the pizza you ate last night was delivered in a carton box and is also derived from paper.


Another common packaging material is glass, which provides a barrier against gases and microbes and can be sterilised and recycled. The major drawback of glass is its fragile nature, and its heavy weight leads to higher transportation costs.


Metal packaging has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until recently that this material became popular. The earliest examples are from ancient times when boxes and cups were made of silver or gold.

In the 1800s, metal containers gained popularity because people wanted something better than glass. Aluminium, when introduced during this period, became a huge hit. Canned foods, aerosols, whipped cream, and many other products use tinplate packaging.


Plastic might be the youngest of all the materials listed, but it is the most versatile and widely used worldwide for packaging solutions.

Plastic extrusion and injection blow moulding have made producing complex plastic packaging easier than ever. Plastic soon became the norm due to its production’s low cost and its inherent qualities like heat resilience and sturdiness.

Piber Plastics supplies high-quality, durable plastic products to the Australian market. Our range includes robust polypropylene containers, ideal for storing any product in harsh conditions. For all your needs in the packaging industry, Piber Plastics is here to help.