Plastic wrap

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A roll of LDPE plastic wrap in a box

Plastic wrap is a thin plastic film typically used for sealing food items in containers to keep them fresh. Plastic wrap, typically sold on rolls in boxes with a cutting edge, clings to many smooth surfaces and can thus remain tight over the opening of a container with no adhesive or other devices. Common plastic wrap is roughly 0.01 mm thick.

Plastic wrap is known as cling-film in the United Kingdom and cling wrap in Australia and the United States. Commonly known brands of plastic wrap in the U.S. include Saran wrap, Glad wrap and Stretch-Tite. In Australia and New Zealand, Glad wrap is the leading brand, known well enough to make its manufacturer concerned about its name becoming a genericised trademark. In Canada, Saran wrap is the genericized trademark.

One of the more recent innovations is perforated plastic wrap.

Cling film and food safety

The United Kingdom Food Standards Agency advises:

  • Do not use cling films where they may melt into the food, such as in conventional ovens or with pots and pans on cooker hobs.
  • When reheating or cooking food in a microwave oven ensure that the cling film does not touch the food.
  • Only use cling film in contact with high fat foods when the manufacturer's advice states it is suitable for this. Examples of high fat foods include some types of cheese, raw meats with a layer of fat, fried meats, pastry products, and cakes with butter icing or chocolate coatings.


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