The Various Materials Used in Making Plastic Trays


It’s not as easy as you think when it comes to purchasing plastic trays for your food service. There are many things to consider like shape and size but most importantly, you have to consider the materials used. Things like drop frequency, microwave use, freezer use, and so on can affect which type of material is best to use when creating the trays you need. Here are the most common types of materials used in manufacturing plastic trays:


ABS: Most bakery and restaurant owners prefer to use trays made from ABS due to its durability and lower price compared to other materials, as well as its great resistance against stains, breakage, and scratches. It is also proven to handle temperatures up to 180°F and is dishwasher safe. However, keep in mind that it can’t be put in a microwave.


Polycarbonate: Same as ABS, polycarbonate has also great resistance to breakage but is more capable of handling temperature ranges from -40°F up to 212°F. Thus, this type of tray can be used in the freezer or elevated temperatures. It is both microwavable and dishwasher safe. 


Melamine: Plastic trays made from melamine are durable and have excellent resistance against stains. It can also be used in dishwashers but should not be put in ovens or microwaves. 


Polypropylene: This material has a very high resistance against staining but moderate resistance to breakage. Just like polycarbonate, polypropylene is also both microwave and dishwasher safe. It can handle temperatures from 32°F to 180°F and has a fairly decent drying time.


Co-Polymer: This material is another variation of polypropylene and offers very high resistance against breakage, stains, and scratches. It is also safe to be placed both in the dishwasher and microwave and has quick dry time. However, it is not ideal to be used in the freezer because it can only handle a temperature range from 40°F to 210°F.