An (Nearly) Invisible Everyday Product
There are many things we use everyday without knowing the name of or even thinking twice about. (Like those little plastic tips on the ends of your shoelaces? Aglets!)
Lidding film is one of these products—you’ve likely never considered it before, but if lidding film suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth your life would look very different than its current state. Lidding film is indispensable from many products and often serves a dual purpose of prolong shelf life while, ultimately, making the product usable by a consumer. Read on to find out what this unsung hero of the packaging world is all about.
Lidding Films Defined
Lidding film is a type of packaging material, often made from paper, plastics, polyester, or foils. When you open a frozen food item and prepare to put it in the often, typically, there is the outer package (usually cardboard) and inside a plastic tray with an easy-peel cover—that cover that you will either leave on, slightly open or perforate is a prime example of lidding film. In addition to the easy-peel version, there is sometimes a lock-tight version that will require a knife or scissors to open (think something along the lines of the plastic a frozen pizza comes in).
Lidding films are not used exclusively with food products, but the vast majority of packages using lidding films are edible, perishable goods.
Different Types of Lidding Films
As mentioned earlier, lidding films serve two distinct purposes: extending shelf life and assisting in the preparation of the contents of the package. However, there are many types of lidding films that can help achieve either or both goals.
The first variation is the peel-ability factor of the lidding film. The adhesive must be secure enough to prevent the product from being ruined during transit and prevent freezer-burn during storage of frozen products while at the same time, be easy to open when the consumer receives it—think back to how many times you’ve been about to microwave up a cup of ramen or easy mac n’ cheese only to be thwarted by a poorly designed lidding film.
Another attribute that must be considered when selecting a lidding film for a product that will be placed in the microwave is anti-fog. Moisture released can prevent the consumer from seeing the contents of the package or be trapped in the packaging, potentially ruining the contents, unless there is proper ventilation.
Strong lidding films must handle a wide variety in temperature. They will be typically stored in below freezing temperatures and then super heated to sometimes over 400 degrees when placed in the oven. This ability to maintain integrity across hundreds of degrees is thanks to the polyethylene materials.
Notes on Sustainability
The one major downside to lidding films, despite their reliability and practicality, is they are notoriously difficult to recycle, sometimes even impossible to do so. If sustainability is your main focus when producing or packaging your product, we suggest you consider different alternatives.
It’s not all doom and gloom in the world of lidding film recycling, because there have been exciting advancements in recent years. Toray has been developing a lidding film called LumiLid designed to be biodegradable. It is entirely possible that within in a few short years, all lidding films will be green.
If you’re debating whether or not to use lidding films in your packaging, GCB Solutions has the know-how and resources to help you make your decision. From initial brainstorming to product design and launch, we can help you every step of the way.
Call us at (904) 263-2804 or schedule a free consultation, today!