what is pet plastic? What is PET used for?

what is pet plastic? What is PET used for? There are a variety of synthetic substances in the world of plastics. One of them is PET (Poly Ethylene Terephthalate).

It belongs to the group of polyesters and is a kind of plastic raw material obtained from petroleum. Many people don’t know what is PET? , It was discovered in 1941 by British scientists Whinfield and Dixon, who patented it as a polymer for the manufacture of fibers. This is very useful today.

So, we are going to tell you what is PET, what are its features and what is it for.

What is PET?

plastic pet bottles
what is pet plastic

This material has the following characteristics, which have made it a practical and good material for construction:

  • Processed by blowing, injection, extrusion. Suitable for the production of jars, bottles, film, foil, plate and parts.
  • Transparency and brightness with magnifying effect.
  • Excellent mechanical properties.
  • gas blockage.
  • Bio-oriented-crystalline.
  • Sterilized by gamma and ethylene oxide.
  • cost performance.
  • Ranked #1 in recycling.
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages and Advantages

type of plastic

what is pet plastic what is pet plastic what is pet plastic what is pet plastic what is pet plastic what is pet plastic


Like all materials, PET also has some disadvantages. Drying is one of its main disadvantages. All polyester must be dried to avoid loss of properties. The humidity of the polymer when entering the process should be a maximum of 0.005%. The cost of equipment is also a disadvantage, as is temperature. Biologically oriented injection blow molding equipment represents a good return to the mass production base. In blow molding and extrusion, conventional PVC equipment can be used, which has greater versatility to produce a variety of shapes and sizes.

When the temperature exceeds 70 degrees, polyester cannot maintain good performance. Improvements were made by modifying the equipment to allow hot filling. Crystalline (opaque) PET has good temperature resistance up to 230 °C. Not recommended for permanent external use.

Now let us analyze what are its advantages: We have unique properties, good availability and great recyclability. Among its good qualities we have clarity, brightness, transparency, barrier properties to gases or fragrances, impact strength, thermoformability, easy to print with ink, allowing cooking in microwave.

The price of PET has fluctuated less over the past 5 years as compared to other polymers like PVC-PP-LDPE-GPPS. Today, PET is produced in North and South America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. PET can be recycled to produce a material called RPET. Unfortunately, due to the temperature involved in the process, RPET cannot be used for the production of packaging in the food industry.

What is PET used for?

Different things are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. The following are some of the elements and materials made from this recyclable thermoplastic:

  • Reusable plastic containers and bottles. Thermoplastics are widely used in the production of containers or beverages, such as soft drinks and water bottles. Due to its hardness and hardness, it has become a material of daily use in the industrial field. Although this also affects the fact that it can be completely recycled, the fact remains that it helps to make many other plastic bottles and containers.
  • various clothes. PET It is a type of plastic used in the textile industry to make various textiles. In fact, it is an excellent alternative to linen or even cotton.
  • film or photographic film . This plastic polymer is also used to make various photographic films. However, it is also very useful for making basic X-ray printing paper.
  • machine made. Today, polyethylene terephthalate is used to make various vending machines and arcade machines.
  • lighting projects. It is used to make lamps of various designs. In fact, PET has proven to be one of the most attractive materials in lighting design, whether exterior or interior.
  • Other advertising elements. For example, posters or signs for visual communication. Likewise, it is often used as an ideal material for building displays in stores and at various trade shows or events.
  • Design Transparency and Flexibility: Because of these two features, consumers can see inside what they buy and manufacturers have many performance possibilities.

Sustainable PET Container

There are a few main reasons why PET packaging is considered more environmentally sustainable. These are the reasons:

Low consumption of energy and resources for its manufacture

Over the years, the development of technology has reduced the resources required to manufacture PET packaging as well as the energy consumption in the manufacturing process. In addition, its portability means that costs and the impact on the environment will be reduced during transportation, as there is less overhead.

Several studies have also shown that, compared to other materials, PET packaging reduces the carbon footprint by producing less solid waste and lower energy consumption of production equipment.

better recycling

While it is generally believed that PET containers can only be recycled a few times, the truth is that it is a material that can be recycled indefinitely if an effective recycling process is implemented, depending on the purpose of use. can go.

Currently, PET is the most recycled plastic in the world. In fact, in Spain, 44% of the packaging on the market is used for secondary use. The percentage should be increased to 55 per cent in 2025 to comply with the circular economy strategy agreed by the European Commission.

In addition to being reused as a food ingredient, recycled PET is also used in the textile, automotive and furniture manufacturing industries. It also has the safety of using recycled PET containers in food and beverages. The European Food Safety Agency has certified that it is a safe material, and is used in Spain by Royal Decree 517/2013 for the marketing and use of raw materials based on recycled PET obtained in water and soft drinks. The final container should contain at least 50% virgin PET .

Therefore, we can conclude that PET containers are safe and sustainable for the environment, not only because of their huge recycling possibilities, but also because of their energy efficiency in the manufacturing process. I hope from this information you can learn more about what is PET and its characteristics.


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