Application– The most common takeout packaging material, used for chicken roasters, clamshells or hinged-lid containers and microwaveable takeout containers. It is also used for beverage containers and excellent for ready-to-heat. It is best used with domes and lids made from the same PP plastics.
Appearance– Usually made in black or clear. If clear, it’s somewhat opaque. It can easily be made into many shapes, sizes and compartments and molded with design elements.
Properties– Very rigid, crack resistant, leak resistant. It can be film-sealed and also be coated with anti-fog material to retain clarity.
Temperature Tolerance– Preferred material for microwave and hot case. It can resist temperatures up to 220° to 240°F. Bones and high-fat foods that retain extra heat will not burn through.
Foamed Polypropylene (ProFoam™)
Application– Great for cups, clamshells, hinged-lid containers, and supermarket trays. This is a relatively new product and will become more used by various customers as it is much more easily recycled than polystyrene.
Appearance– Usually white but can be other colors.
Properties– Excellent heat retention and cold insulation. Strong, lightweight, and won’t allow soak-through. It also has good barrier properties and can also be heat-sealed with film.
Temperature Tolerance– It can hold hot foods and is microwaveable.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
Application– Especially good for merchandising cold foods, yogurts, ice creams, deli, produce, and catering. PET is also good for drinking cups and excellent for frozen foods.
Appearance– PET has high clarity and can be colored.
Properties– PET is durable tough and clear.
Temperature Tolerance– PET has a very low temperature resistance. It starts to melt before 140° and cannot be used in the oven or microwave.
Crystalline Polythyelene Terephthalate (CPET)
Application– Frozen dinner trays and take-out entree containers that need to be heated. Good for merchandising in the freezer, hot or cold cases.
Appearance– Often black, but can be other colors.
Properties– A lot of design flexibility, it can be ridged, indented, and formed into multi-compartmented units. It has good crack resistance when frozen.
Temperature Tolerance– CPET has wide temperature range. It can be heated in a regular oven to 400° or frozen to -40°.
Application– Used for plates, bowls, beverage carriers, and trays.
Appearance– Molded Fiber may be off white or gray, depending on the amount of recycled newspaper content (plates that touch food directly must be made with virgin paper stock).
Properties– It has superior strength and cut resistance. It can be made to absorb grease from fried foods and to repel oil and water to prevent soak-through. It can be filmed over with PET.
Temperature Tolerance– It can be microwaved but not for use in the conventional oven.