Coding Disposable Food Service Products

The disposable cups and containers that hold your “to-go” food and drinks are made of various materials and use manufacturing technologies designed to maintain product quality and freshness while the food products are distributed and stored.

Disposable Food Service coding - laser

iCON Laser Coding on Packaging

Commonly used materials for the manufacture of disposable food containers include:

  • Aluminum – used to manufacture foils, wraps, bags, containers, and trays.
  • Plastic – used in cups, plates, buckets, etc. Plastic is lightweight and maintains the temperature of hot/cold foods and drinks.
  • Polystyrene – a type of plastic often referred to as Styrofoam used to manufacture cups, coolers, or box packaging.
  • Paper and paperboard – used for cups, plates, napkins, bags or cartons. Paper is almost always treated, coated, laminated, or impregnated with materials such as waxes, resins, or lacquers to improve the container’s functional and protective properties.

Manufacturers often need to code their products with information such as lot or batch numbers for inventory tracking, “use-by” or “sell-by” dates to ensure safety, or even promotional data to engage customers with a brand. Which coding technology is best for your particular product? Much depends on the materials and manufacturing processes. Consider factors such as line speed, substrate to mark, the type and amount of data to put on the substrate, and the environmental conditions present in the manufacturing process.laser coder

If you need permanent, indelible marks at high speeds then laser marking should be considered. We offer a range of Macsa laser coding systems available in several configurations from the simple and low cost iCON up to our high speed/high power models. The advantage of a laser is that it is fast, clean, and doesn’t need consumables such as labels and ribbons.

Need to print high quality text, graphics, barcodes or nutrition information onto your flexible packaging? The ID Technology Thermal Transfer Overprinter (TTO)

Thermal Transfer Overprinter Compact 53c TTO on Matrix Packaging Machine

Compact 53c TTO on Matrix Packaging Machine

might be what you need. Integrate our TTO with your manufacturing equipment and print when the material is stationary or while it is in motion. Our TTO printers need no external controller and are perfect for replacing old technology such as ink printers or hot stamp and are an easy upgrade if you use older generation TTO printers.

ID Technology’s ci3000 Series Continuous Inkjet (CIJ) printer prints high quality codes directly onto your cups, buckets, or other products as well as to their packaging. The ci3000 Series has a simple user interface and is a good solution for lot codes, date codes and  promotional game numbering. Achieve high speed continuous inkjet printing with fast drying inks to ensure codes are not smeared. The non-contact printers produce high quality code onto uneven and curved surfaces, and the abrasion-resistant inks will not rub off. ID Technology even offers thermochromic inks and security inks that only appear under specific UV light.

Of course, once you start to package your products in cases or onto pallets, ID Technology has some great solutions for that well.

No matter what product you are marking or the kind of environment you are marking in, we have the experience and knowledge to help you choose the right technology for the job. Call us today at 888-438-3242 Option#3. Or contact David Holliday directly at


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