Packaging the Facts


Packaging the Facts

Membership year

2007 - 2008


This resource is a book which gives a fascinating insight into the world of Packaging.

Packaging is an area on which we are completely reliant yet take for granted.  As we wander around the supermarket we choose products on the basis of their appearance and rely on the packaging to keep our food fresh for as long as possible. 

Early Man used very simple forms of packaging such as dried animal skins to carry water and leaves to wrap food.  Over the centuries we have developed the technology to process a wide variety of materials and examples of early glass and ceramics jars and bottles still survive.  Once the link between food wastage and bacteria was made packaging became even more important and processes such as pasteurisation were developed. 

Throughout the development of packaging an understanding of materials and how they can be processed has played, and continues to play a key role.  Modern packaging must be able to be mass produced cheaply and transported around the world efficiently at low cost.  Polymers, metals, ceramics and paper continue to be used for packaging our food and other products. 

In recent years smart materials have started to be used for packaging.  From thermochromic competition panels on chocolate bars, to sensors on food packaging which change colour when the food is starting to decay.  Recycling is also becoming much more important when designing and producing packaging.  We cannot keep putting our waste in landfill, so ways of reducing the amount of packaging we use and recycling as much of this as possible must be developed.

This fascinating 26 chapter book looks at packaging from all angles, covering why packaging is important, its history, the materials used and processing techniques, modern packaging materials and methods, and recycling.  It features easy to understand explanations and ideas for activities in class.  This resource will be an excellent addition to any technology teachers' library, but is also very useful to science departments as the physics and chemistry of the materials and processes are also explored and described.


132 page book


A limited number of additional copies are available for purchase at a cost of £20 each, contact

Alternatively, download the PDF file.


Packaging the Facts (PDF, 4177kB)