In recent years, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) has been the packaging material of choice for water and soft drinks. Plastic bottles are increasingly being used for beer, juices, sports drinks, and aromatized alcoholic drinks. But each product requires specific qualities in its bottles.
PET continues to grow in popularity as an effective packaging material for beverage applications. It is robust, lighter in weight compared to other materials such as glass and metal, and easily recyclable. The material also offers a high degree of design flexibility that enables packaging designers and brand managers to differentiate their products. Add low-cost production capability to the equation, and it’s clear why there is a steady rise in worldwide production of PET containers for beverages.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE); a strong, stiff synthetic fibre and resin, and a member of the polyester family of polymers. PET is spun into fibres for permanent-press fabrics, blow-molded into disposable beverage bottles, and extruded into photographic film and magnetic recording tape.
PET is produced by the polymerization of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Ethylene glycol is a colourless liquid obtained from ethylene, and terephthalic acid is a crystalline solid obtained from xylene.
The commercial success of plastic as a packaging product is the result of a combination of flexibility (from film to hard applications), durability, lightness, stability, impermeability and easy sterilization. These properties make plastics the ideal packaging material for all commercial and industrial users.
For example, plastic food packages do not affect the flavor and quality of the food product. In fact, the inhibitory properties of plastic materials ensure that the food preserves its natural flavor and protects it from external contamination. In addition, the unique versatility of the substance has been demonstrated in numerous applications such as fresh meat coating films, beverage bottles, edible oils and sauces, yogurt and margarine containers.
Plastics are everywhere – in food containers and toys, in cosmetics packaging and household utensils. While some plastics are eco-friendly and may be safe for kids, others contain harmful chemicals or cause dangerous pollution during manufacturing.
Have you ever wondered what the numbers, or recycling symbols mean at the bottom of plastic bottles and containers? Did you know that, while the use of all plastics should be limited if at all possible, some are safer than others? It’s time to learn a little bit about the various plastics you use and drink/eat from every single day, and what impact they have not only on you, but also the environment.