Tin Cans and the Rise of Plastics in Packaging

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Plastics have become an unavoidable component of modern life. And while most people are familiar with the ubiquity of plastic bottles and pots, they may not know that many other household items, such as food packaging and plastic wraps, are made with it. Let’s take a look at how plastics became so popular in our lives.

In the 19th century, tin cans were invented which could be used to store food but also served as a substitute for glass jars in preserving fruits or liquids. Tin cans also had weight advantages over glass jars because they were lighter and could be transported easier than large glass pieces. However, the commercial success of tin cans was limited because they were expensive to produce.

At this time, the German inventor Dr. Bessels put forward a new idea: he coated thin tin cans with paraffin oil which prevented them from rusting but also allowed them to be easily opened and resealed after use. In addition, the can was filled with processed food that had been sealed in a jar. But this never really took off as aluminum cans were invented in 1943 (Jarvis, 2017).

Tin cans were originally preferred over glass bottles because it was easier to store food and drinks in them, for a longer amount of time, without them spoiling. However, the tin cans couldn’t be used as often as glass bottles. Tin cans were a lot harder to open, so it’s safe to assume that many injuries occurred from the use of them. Though they appeared to be a more efficient option than glass bottles, the significant disadvantages of using tin cans quickly became apparent. There are many Beverage Can Manufacturers in India, which prefer to use tin cans over glass or plastic bottles.

In today’s day and age, there is a myriad of packaging being used all around the world. This wide range of packaging materials offers various advantages and disadvantages for the environment. In this article, we will explore how plastics are rapidly becoming one of the dominant methods for food packaging in North America.


The use of plastics in food packaging has increased by more than 500% over the last 10 years, with their share increasing from 3% to 15%. The main reason that they have been such an attractive option is due to their high resistance against chemicals, light, water and heat compared to other types of packaging available today. In addition, plastics are very versatile and can be formed into a number of shapes and sizes to fit the needs of food packaging.

One of the most important technological breakthroughs in recent years has been that of plastics. Plastics are a vast group of substances that include, but are not limited to, polymers and composites. These materials have revolutionized packaging and many other areas of industry over the past 60 years due to their unmatched versatility, durability, and light weight. Yet these benefits have cost us dearly- plastic waste is rapidly increasing across the globe as we use more and more plastic every day. Plastic has become ubiquitous in our daily lives, and plastic waste is a growing concern. A vast amount of this waste comes from the food and beverage industry, with only a small fraction being recycled– the rest ends up in landfills or in our oceans.

Plastics have a number of advantages to the environment when it comes to food packaging. They are versatile, light weight and easy to produce, give the consumer a better product experience and offer cost benefits over other types of materials used in food packaging. Thermoplastics are 100% recyclable, giving them good environmental credentials while they still provide a good food safety tool. Using plastics in packaging also reduces the amount of material waste that is produced, saving a lot of space in landfills. They also keep food fresher for longer, which means that less food has to be produced and transported.

On the other hand, there are a number of environmental issues with plastics used in packaging. Their durability means they take hundreds or even thousands of years to decompose. Plastics also break down into small pieces called microplastics that have travelled into oceans and waterways where they have been ingested by marine life with unknown consequences.

Although the chances are low, there are still plastics that may contain BPA. Know all the products in Packaging Options Direct are 100% free of BPA. Learn more about our last blog post. Even with good recycling resources around the world plastic is still one of the main causes of pollution. Always make sure you recycle your plastic waste whenever possible. And it does not rot, so excessive use of your plastic products before disposing of them can go a long way.