Packaging Materials: Pros and Cons of Common Types Used in Malaysia

Food Packaging Malaysia 

Containers and packaging have grown to be crucial components of food purchases in recent years. The food is packaged and stored with the intention of shipment. That is, in addition to serving as a container, the container must protect what it sells and sell what it protects, ensuring that food and packaging materials don’t touch with one another.

Without further ado, below are some of the most common food packaging materials used in Malaysia, along with their pros and cons! 

Top Common Types of Food Packaging Used in Malaysia 

1. Plastic

Plastics are organic polymeric substances that can be shaped any way you want. Throughout many years, the processing and packaging of food have proven the lightness and adaptability of these. Polypropylene packaging and containers offer sufficient mechanical strength while preventing food contamination. Other varieties of plastics that are being used are Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Polyethylene (PET), and Polystyrene (PS) a.k.a Styrofoam. 

Plastics have become the perfect packaging for most due to decreased manufacturing costs and energy usage. Also, they reduce the need for preservatives by preserving and safeguarding the food for longer. Plastics are recyclable materials, however, they still cause pollution.


Lightweight, flexible, cheap, and easy to produce. It can also be molded into different shapes and sizes, making it ideal for various food products.


Plastic is not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose, which poses a significant threat to the environment. It can also release harmful chemicals when exposed to high temperatures, which can contaminate food.

2. Paper and cardboard 

Paper is an extremely lightweight, inexpensive product with the great digital printing quality. It can be fixed even though it is extremely susceptible to moisture by combining paper with other materials like plastic or paraffin.

Many layers of paper are overlaid to create the substance known as cardboard, which is thicker, tougher, and more durable than paper. Packaging box such as corrugated boxes, containers, paper bags are its primary usage.

Manufacturers of paper and cardboard have recently begun to pay close attention to environmental and health concerns. Hence, they continuously improve them by using recycled products that extend the life of these raw materials.


Made from renewable resources, biodegradable, and recyclable, making it a more environmentally friendly option. It can also be printed on, allowing for branding and labeling.


Not as durable as plastic and can be easily damaged by moisture, heat, and other external factors. It may not be suitable for packaging certain types of food.

3. Metal 

Image source: Campden BRI 

These metals are mostly used to preserve foods and beverages in cans. Tin-coated steel and aluminium cans are the most often utilised materials. Because it is opaque, the food’s advantage in protecting itself from light is increased.

Because of its light weight, low cost, and ability to be recycled, aluminium is being utilised for canning more frequently. Packaging, bottle closures, wraps, and laminates all include it. It has the same barrier qualities as steel but has the benefit of being corrosion-resistant.


Lightweight, durable, and provides a high level of protection against moisture, light, and oxygen. It is also recyclable and can be reused for various purposes.


Aluminum production requires a significant amount of energy, which can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. It can also be costly compared to other packaging materials.

4. Glass 

Image source: Packaging Strategies 

Glass is a non-toxic substance that is impermeable to vapours and gases. When in touch with food, it serves as a superb oxygen barrier that is absolutely neutral. It takes a lot of energy to produce, and it is a delicate, heavy material.

Silica, one of the planet’s most plentiful raw resources, is used to make glass, although it is not a sustainable resource. In spite of this, it is a recyclable product because it may be used repeatedly as a container.


Non-reactive, durable, and provides an airtight seal, which helps to preserve the quality of the food. Glass is also 100% recyclable and can be reused for various purposes.


Heavy and fragile, which can make it more difficult to transport and handle. It can also be more expensive compared.

5. Biodegradable materials 

Image source:

More recently, there has been an increase in the use of biodegradable food packaging materials in Malaysia. A biodegradable material called cellulose is derived from the cell walls of numerous plants and fungi. It was the first translucent film that was used in packaging and is presently used for confectionery and pastry products, in situations where vapours need to “breathe” to avoid deforming the product

Wool and nylon are examples of polyamides, a type of polymer that can be produced both naturally and artificially. They are used for frozen meals, fish, meat, vegetables, boiling products in bags, and processed cheese and meat.


Environmentally friendly, reduces carbon footprint as its made from plant-based materials and can be cost-effective.


May not as durable as traditional plastic packaging, difficult to find suppliers that offer this packaging, and limited shelf life. 

Quality Packaging Solutions

Image source: QPack

Food packaging is not something to take lightly, after all they stores the food that we will eat. With QPack, customers can expect quality products for your business. From gift boxes to dry food packaging, we got it all.

For enquiries and questions, feel free to reach out to!

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