The Danger of Recycled Paper as Food Packaging

A healthy lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular. We all know that to maintain the lifestyle, routine exercise should be combined with the habit of healthy food consumption. However, most people are not aware of the dangerous chemical composition contained in their healthy food packaging. In fact, food packaging that contains certain chemicals can be harmful to your health when it left in direct contact with the food you consume.

The most common food packaging in Indonesia is generally paper-based. However, there are many paper-based packaging that should not be used as food packaging, such as newspaper, used cardboard boxes, and waste paper that were recycled as food packaging. These recycled papers contain hazardous materials, such as lead from printing ink, heavy metal compounds, benzene, styrene, adhesives, waxes and other types of chemicals. When used as food packaging in direct contact with food, the food may absorb hazardous materials from the packaging, and then accidentally consumed by the public.

 In a research conducted by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), they found that the amount of bacteria contained in a food packaging from recycled paper reaches about 1.5 million colonies per gram. The average packaging commonly used to wrap rice weighs about 70-100 grams/sheet, which means there are as many as 105-150 million bacteria in a sheet of paper-based food packaging. These compounds and chemicals can have a negative impact on the body and may trigger various diseases, such as cancer, liver and lymphatic damage, endocrine system disorders, reproductive disorders, increased risk of asthma, and the most dangerous one will be a genetic mutation.

Therefore, people need to be aware of this danger and should be encouraged to choose food packaging that has food grade label, which is more hygienic and free from harmful chemicals, so it is safe for direct contact with food. A food packaging that is safe to use has a clean surface with no spots, and has grease-proof feature. In addition, food grade board is environmental friendly because it is easy to decompose.

Considering the danger of recycled material as food packaging, Indah Kiat Serang offers a packaging solution by producing food grade board called Foopak. It is made from non-recycled natural fiber that contains no dangerous compound nor bacteria, as well as environmental friendly as the products are biodegradable and compostable. Foopak is designed as food grade packaging with high durability against low and high temperature, as well as resistant to oil absorbent.

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