Disposable Food Packaging Buying Guide

Disposable Food Packaging

Disposable food packaging comprises of sandwich boxes, hinged boxes, season food packaging, cake boxes, salad bowls, carry packs and specialist sandwich packs.  These types of packs are essential if you are running a takeaway restaurant, café or a retail supermarket selling food on the go.  The packaging you choose will reflect your brand so it’s important to choose wisely.  There are a number of different material options to choose from, including plastic, polystyrene, paper, cardboard and there are eco-friendly choices too, which many consumers prefer.  On the Alliance website you will find a huge amount of disposable food packaging all sourced from reputable suppliers and priced very competitively.

Cardboard Food Packaging

This is a very popular choice especially for people who care for the environment because these are essentially made out of cardboard or cartonboard so the packaging is recyclable and it can be printed with your own design or you can choose a standardised design as you prefer.  Cartonboard is naturally renewable and is created out of multiple paper board pieces pressed together for strength and durability.  It can be bent without causing cracks and usually has a coated surface, suitable for printing on.

PVC Disposable Food Packaging

Many sandwiches today are sold in PVC food packaging and it is popular because it is still an eco-friendly choice.  Much of PVC food packaging is made out of RPET50 which consists of recycled PET content so it is completely recyclable.  Additionally, this material is recognised as a food grade material throughout the industry and it is a strong product which protects the food inside from light impact and squashing.  The main benefit of PVC is that it is clear so customers can easily see their food and sandwich sleeves or stickers can be added with further information and imagery. 

Sandwich wedges come in different sizes to include standard, deep filled and triple filled.  Additionally, for other sandwich styles such as deep rolls, tortilla wraps, baguettes, bagels etc. there are plenty of options designed to fit these other shapes and all come with hinges for easy opening and closing so the PVC material doesn’t crack or break. 

Snack Seal System

This is an innovative packaging system which is an inexpensive solution to keeping food on the go fresher for a longer time.  It consists of a plastic bag of different sizes which can be non-perforated or perforated depending on what food is going to be placed inside.  The top of the bag is then sealed shut with a special seal to keep food fresh and tasty for a while.  This is great for deli style food establishments and for freshly prepared sandwiches.

Salad Bowls, Cake Packs, Deli Pots

Other fresh food which is to taken out needs great looking, durable and practical packaging and there are a number of options available, from PET nibble boxes (which gives your customer the choice of enjoying four different types of food) to domed salad packs, , carry packs, cake boxes and more.

Salad Containers

  • PET Salads are very visual foods and the bright colours look great when displayed in clear packaging such as a PET combo pack with a domed lid or oval shapes. These are great for pre-packed salads or for salad bars where the customers help themselves.  PET is made out of either polyethylene which is a biodegradable plastic alternative and is strong and practical or RPET which is a combination of recycled PET content.
  • BOARD Alternatives to PET include a new “Fuzione” range which comprises of fusing two materials, PET and biodegradable board, creating a hybrid product and giving salad packaging a fabulous modern twist. The Fuzione products come with a snap-on lid to keep food fresh and prevent leakage.  Other board containers include cartonboard salad trays which are fully biodegradable, including the window area which is constructed out of plant materials.
  • POLYSTYRENE is a recyclable material and there are various salad and dessert tub containers which are suitable for visual food. Polystyrene is strong and practical and co-ordinating lids prevent leakage, keeping food fresh on the go.
  • PLA (POLYLACTIC ACID) this is a plastic alternative which is very environmentally friendly and is completely compostable. It is also excellent for displaying very visually attractive food because it is completely clear so it is ideal for pre-packed salads and salad bars alike.

Cake Boxes

Whether you create celebration cakes or individual muffins, handsome and practical cake boxes which are able to carry the right weight are essentials you shouldn’t be without.  Cake boxes are also essential for any bakery so it’s important to keep a large amount of different sizes and shapes so you have something for every baked products.  For large cakes it’s important to keep a stock of cake boards as well because these are used when the cake is cut and prevent any damage to other surfaces underneath the cake.  Cake boards are also essential in making sure cake boxes are strong enough to keep the cake from bending the outer.

As well as cake boxes, don’t forget muffin containers, petit fours containers and single cake slice containers which are all important if this is what your business sells. 

Carry Packs

Smart looking carry packs are both good looking and environmentally friendly.  They are also useful for many types of food to go such as sandwiches, snacks, pre-packed salads and lunchboxes.  Excellent for transporting food from one place to another, they are strong and durable and if you want your logo or livery printed on them, it’s easy as they are made out of recyclable and biodegradable board.

For further information on disposable food packaging visit the Catering Disposables section or contact the Alliance customer care team.

Food Bags

Every food business, whether catering, restaurant or hotel needs disposable plastic or paper food bags and these are useful for so many different purposes.  From storing wet and dry food to takeaway use every establishment should have a variety of different disposable bags to hand, in various sizes too.  As well as in restaurants and hotels, disposable bags are used for retail purposes too, great for storing seafood, hot food, insulated food, takeaway food, retail produce and groceries and of course, cooking bags.  Within the pages of the Alliance website you will find all these different bags sourced from reputable suppliers and at competitive prices.


Food bags come in a variety of materials and some materials are suitable for a specific use whereas others are suitable for multi-purpose.    Paper is the most environmentally friendly and most of the paper bags available to purchase are completely biodegradable or compostable. 


  • Foil Lined or Thermawrap is a paper bag ideal for hot takeaway food and is a paper outer which is insulated inside keeping stable temperature control so idea for hot sandwiches, sausage rolls, pies etc. Foil lined paper is also an excellent choice for keeping food fresh and hygienic, great for counter service for hot items as the foil lining keeps the temperature at a good level.  It should be noted that foil-lined bags are not suitable for microwave use.
  • Chip Bags are essential for any burger, fish or other fast-food restaurant and a sulphite bag is the traditional container made out of 33gsm white sulphite paper suitable for food use and very common in groceries and takeaway restaurants. These bags are also printable and come in various different sizes.  Note that chip bags can also be used for other food.
  • Chip Wrap is another method of wrapping chips and other food (e.g. fish, burgers, hot dogs etc.) and they are extremely effective and inexpensive. Additionally they are recyclable so kind to the environment and absorb grease well.
  • Grease Resistant Bags are a staple bag product for all fast food outlets and retail outlets too. Designed specifically for food use they repel grease so food remains as fresh and tasty as possible.
  • Grab Bags are white paper bags which are suitable for food use at hot or cold temperatures. They are made out of 100% recyclable paper and can even be used in other retail environments for dry goods, gifts etc.  They can also have logo/livery printed.
  • Film Front Bags are commonly used in bakeries, takeaways, sandwich shops for cakes, muffins, sandwiches, baguettes etc. and the useful film window at the front enables the consumer to see what they are buying while food is kept fresh, repelling grease and food remains hygienically packed away. Made out of recyclable paper these bags are kind to the environment. 
  • Handled Carrier Bags made out of brown paper are very fashionable and extremely kind to the environment because they are constructed out of 100% recycled paper. These bags are suitable for many different uses and they are capable of carrying hot or cold food as well as dried goods and even for use in gift and retail shops.


Polyethylene is a chemical compound which is used in plastics everywhere.  This material is used in food bags across the globe and is perfect for the food business which needs food to remain fresh and hygienic.  Polyethylene offers many benefits as it is strong, clear, flexible and has a water barrier.


Plastic bags are widely used in many businesses, food and non-food and plastic is a popular material because it is recyclable.  For food-related businesses plastic bags are ideal for carrying light products. Easy to use, they keep food hygienic and fresh.  All the Alliance plastic bags are food grade and made out of polythene plastic.

Other Bags

Choose from vest carriers, which are so called because of their simple vest shape.  Recyclable and inexpensive, the Alliance vest carriers are food grade and great for keeping food hygienically stored.  As well as for food business use, they are suitable for other retailers including gifts, clothing and supermarkets.  Additionally, the Alliance website stocks Days of the Week Portion Bags which are ideal for keeping track of when food has been prepared or which day of the week it is for.  These are conveniently microwave safe and have a specially designed lockable top which keeps all the freshness in.  They are also a hygienic way of packing away food.   Finally, plastic Toastie Bags are designed especially for creating the perfect, fresh and delicious Toastie but it should be noted that they are only for use with infrared toasting machines rather than regular toasters.  The Toastie bags create no mess and toast very quickly, using less energy than a toaster, grill or oven.

For further information on Disposable Food Packaging visit the Catering Disposables pages or contact the Alliance customer care team

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