6

My local council accepts white plastic for recycling. If white is ok, why do we produce meat packaging, frozen meal packaging etc in black?

  • 1
    Your information is out-of-date, nowadays it can. But maybe not all installations yet. – Jan Doggen Jan 27 '17 at 18:13
  • 3
    @JanDoggen that answer doesn't answer the main question here - since black plastic is harder to recycle, why is it used? I assume there's some functional or financial reason, which isn't discussed at that question. Perhaps a better way to phrase this question would be, "Are there cheaper or better alternatives to black plastic which are easier to recycle?" – LShaver Jan 27 '17 at 20:26
  • 1
    If I can find a reference I'll post an answer, but I seem to remember (from our council's recycling update a while back) that black is what they do with recycled plastic that's got too much residual colour to do anything else – Chris H Jan 28 '17 at 8:47
8

One reason for using black plastic for meat packaging is the hide the blood that can sometimes seep out of the meat. It gives the appearance of a cleaner presentation. I've seen meat packaged in white & black plastic trays and the black ones always look neater & give the appearance of being cleaner.

The choice of a color for a plastic item, such as packaging, may be more of a marketing decision than an environmental one. Not everyone is concerned with sustainability & the environment, some people are more concerned about making money & improving only their quality of life irrespective of the impact that may have on others or the environment.

  • Strangely enough, around here meat is rarely seen in anything other than clear/white trays (UK supermarkets) so this isn't a universal preference. – Chris H Jan 28 '17 at 8:51
  • 1
    Packaged meat often has an absorbing pad below it. – Jan Doggen Jan 28 '17 at 16:16
  • U.K. Supermarkets I have seen all have red meat in black trays and poultry in white trays. Red meat also has an absorbent pad. – Rory Alsop Jan 29 '17 at 12:05
  • @Rory Funnily enough I found an exception - chicken breasts from sainsbury's are in a black tray. We don't eat very much red meat but most of what we do comes in a clear/white tray (sainsbury's again) – Chris H Jan 31 '17 at 7:47

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.