Canadian packaging company Cascades has said its new polystyrene foams are an environmentally friendly form of food packaging.

The announcement followed a lifecycle analysis (LCA) conducted by CIRAIG that calculates the ecological footprint for various food packaging trays.

The trays include those made from six types of plastic and moulded pulp, originating from the company’s own plants.

The company claimed that although polystyrene foam is rarely recycled, it is made of over 90% air and has an ecological advantage.

The LCA results support the finding that for food packaging trays, the amount of material and type of energy used are the factors that impact the environment.

Using recycled materials in the fabrication of food packaging trays, as with recycled polyethylene terephthalate and moulded pulp, results in tangible environmental benefits, the company said.

CIRAIG is an inter-university research centre for the lifecycle of products, processes and services.