PET plastic characteristics
PET plastic is one of the plastics we find most frequently in water bottles, juices, beverages and textiles, it is also the plastic that most often receives the recycling points and recyclers base, and one of the easiest to replace, just start using a reusable bottle to start leaving aside the use of PET.
PET was first produced in 1941 to be used as a textile fiber to help make up for the wartime shortage of cotton. In the 1950s it was used in the food industry as an ambassador, and its production became widespread in the 1970s when it began to be used as a rigid container for beverages and carbonated water.
It is generally known to be used in pipes, but it can also be found in oil bottles, shampoo, medicine containers, meat packaging, sausages, tablecloths, to name a few. PVC is considered toxic due to the use of chlorine in its manufacture, and it also emanates vinyl chloride, which can pass into liquids (pipes or water bottles) as the temperature rises.
PET is one of the most widely used plastics in consumer products, and is found in most water and pop bottles, and some packaging. It is intended for single-use applications; repeated use increases the risk of leaching and bacterial growth. PET plastic is difficult to decontaminate, and will require cleaning up harmful chemicals. Polyethylene terephthalates can release carcinogenic substances.
HDPE plastic is the rigid plastic used to make milk containers, detergent and oil bottles, toys and some plastic bags. HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic and is considered one of the safest forms of plastic. It is a relatively simple and cost-effective process to recycle HDPE plastic for secondary use.
HDPE plastic is very durable and will not break down under exposure to sunlight or extremes of heating or freezing. For this reason, HDPE is used to make picnic tables, plastic lumber and waste containers, park benches, truck bed covers and other products that require durability and weather resistance.
What are pet bottles
A widespread custom is to reuse plastic water bottles. Whether for recycling, for saving money or for practicality, the truth is that many of us use these bottles. And around this habit there are many stories about the dangers of reusing plastic bottles. And doubts arise, is it possible or not?
– PET (polyethylene terephthalate). It is identified with a 1. It is the most commonly used in plastic bottles for food. It is usually recommended not to refill, but it is not because this gesture will cause health problems, but because it is a not very resistant material that bends or scratches very easily. And also for hygiene reasons, since once opened these bottles can harbor many microorganisms. They can be reused but not many times, they should not be exposed to high temperatures and should not be shared. And it is preferable to wash them well before refilling.
– HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). It is identified with a 2. It is the one used for milk bottles, detergents, oil bottles because it is more rigid and is resistant to cold and heat. It is completely recyclable as long as basic hygiene standards are followed.
PET plastic examples
Returnable bottles and disposable bottles have the same raw material, the difference is the amount of PET used in each. Since returnable bottles have a longer life cycle, they are harder because the mass of the container is greater. In the case of disposable bottles, the mass of material is smaller and therefore they are more flexible. Companies such as Coca-Cola have worked to reduce the amount of plastic in their containers, such as the new Eco Flex bottle of Vital and the lighter version of Andina del Valle juices.
PET is the most recycled plastic because it is flexible, does not break, does not cut and is more economical compared to others. Its recyclability technology is known and there is installed capacity to do so. “It is a friendly plastic and there is also a lot of volume. In fact, there has been a circular economy based on PET in the beverage industry for some time now,” Dutilh explains.
More than 90% of the recycled PET used to make new containers comes from bottles. For example, Typack works with rPET (recycled PET) to make oyster containers for export fruit. These containers can also be recycled, but they represent a lower recycling volume than bottles.