Poly Bags
Used In Delis.

This section of Elkay's Poly Bag Foodservice Training Module is designed to quickly provide information regarding the use of poly bags in delis. The products identified here include bags used in deli kitchens and their related take out and catering services.

Commercial & Industrial Kitchens
Meat & Poultry



Degradation of the polymer is triggered by UV light and assisted by the presence of UV sensitizers. In this process the polymer is converted to low molecular weight material (waxes) and in a second step converted to carbon dioxide and water by bacterial action.

A process where ultraviolet radiation degrades the chemical bond or link in the polymer or chemical structure of a plastic.

Plastic Film
Is a very thin piece of thermoplastic resin that is considerably longer than it is wide with a thicknesses of 10 mils (1 mil = 0.001 inch) or less (averaging 0.7 mils to 1.5 mils).

Plastic Sheet
Is a comparatively thick piece of thermoplastic resin that is much longer than it is wider and as thick as 10 mils (1 mil = 0.001 inch) or more (up to 30 mils thick).

A lightweight thermoplastic used especially in packaging. Polyethylene (PE) molecules have two hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon atom in a chain. This structure gives polyethylene it's tough, flexible and chemical resistant characteristics.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)
PET is clear, tough and has good gas and moisture barrier properties. Some of this plastic is used in PET soft drink bottles and other blow molded containers, although sheet applications are increasing. Cleaned, recycled PET flakes and pellets are in great demand for spinning fiber for carpet yarns and producing fiberfill and geotextiles. Other applications include strapping, molding compounds and both food and non-food containers. (Adapted from Modern Plastics Encyclopedia 1995).

A Polymer is a Molecule. A high-molecular-weight organic compound, natural or synthetic, whose structure can be represented by a repeated small unit, the monomer (e.g., polyethylene, rubber, cellulose). Synthetic polymers are formed by addition or condensation polymerization of monomers. If two or more different monomers are involved, a copolymer is obtained. Some polymers are elastomers, some plastics. (Plastics Engineering Handbook of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., edited by Michael L. Berins, 1991).

Polypropylene (PP)
Polypropylene has excellent chemical resistance, is strong and has the lowest density of the plastics used in packaging. It has a high melting point, making it ideal for hot-fill liquids. In film form it may or may not be oriented (stretched). PP is found in everything from flexible and rigid packaging to fibers and large molded parts for automotive and consumer products. (Adapted from Modern Plastics Encyclopedia 1995; Plastic Packaging Opportunities and Challenges, February 1992).

Polystyrene (PS)
Polystyrene is a very versatile plastic that can be rigid or foamed. General purpose polystyrene is clear, hard and brittle. It has a relatively low melting point. Typical applications include protective packaging, containers, lids, cups, bottles, trays and tumblers. (Plastic Packaging Opportunities and Challenges, February 1992).

Post-Consumer materials
Are collected only after they were used for the purpose for which they were originally manufactured. Post consumer materials are acquired by residential curbside collection programs, drop-off programs, and collection at institutions such as schools and colleges. These materials are limited to PET and HDPE (bottle and film grade), some polypropylene from battery casings collected from vehicle battery return programs, and LDPE and HDPE film grocery bags collected at recycling stations by supermarkets

Post-consumer Plastic
Any plastic that has entered the stream of commerce, served its intended purpose, and has now been diverted for recycling or export. This includes residential, commercial and institutional plastic. This does not include industrial scrap material like factory regrind and plant scrap used within the primary manufacturing facility. (Post-consumer plastic resin is also known as PCR). (1995 post-consumer plastic Plastics Recycling/Recovery Rate Survey, Glossary of Terms, R.W. Beck & Associates).

PRN Bags
PRN refers to the Latin abbreviation for "take as needed". The PRN bags contain medication (usually pain or anti-nausea medicine) that can be consumed by the patient on an "as needed" basis. The blue or orange color of this type of bag is provided as a preference -choice for the clinic to assign color code use.