Benefits And Applications of PET Plastic Packaging


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Polyethylene terephthalate or PET, is a staple in food and beverage packaging. It's also used in the packaging of plenty of other products, though not necessarily ones you want to eat or drink—PET is a mainstay for packaging things like cosmetics and cleaning chemicals. Just look at the recycling code on any PET plastic package, and you'll see: It's number one. Learn the benefits and applications of PET from the industry experts at Plastic Ingenuity.

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Benefits And Applications of PET Plastic Packaging

  1. 1. PET Packaging Materials
  2. 2. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a commonly used plastic in the packaging industry. Common PET products include:• Take-out containers• Baked goods containers• Bottled water• Ketchup• Jars (peanut butter and mayonnaise)• Juices and carbonated drinks• Frozen foods• Cosmetics• Household products
  3. 3. Composition of PET PlasticPET is a thermoplastic polymer resin from the polyester family. It is a polymer that is formed by combining modified ethylene glycol and purified terephthalic acid or dimethyl terephthalate. Although its name contains polyethylene, PET does not contain polyethylene.
  4. 4. PET Plastic Characteristics• High clarity• Good chemical resistance• Good gas and moisture barrier• High impact resistance• Medium rigidity (semi-rigid to rigid)• Medium scratch resistance• Food contact safety• Temperature tolerance of -50 degrees F to 110 degrees F
  5. 5. Origins of PET PlasticAlthough PET plastic was patented in 1941, the first PET bottle was not produced until 1973.
  6. 6. How are PET plastics made?There are two primary processes for producing a PET package.• Thermoforming – a process by which a sheet of PET plastic is heated and shaped using a mold into the desired shape.• Blow Molding – typically used to make containers with narrow mouths
  7. 7. Thermoforming vs. Blow Molding PET PlasticsThermoforming allows for custom shaping of PET plastic into any desired shape. PET plastic is often used to produce clamshells, bakery containers or take-out containers.Blow molding is primarily used to create bottles.
  8. 8. Why PET Plastic?PET plastic has a variety of characteristics that make it desirable for use as packaging material.• PET is suitable for varied uses. Some of the factors that make it so versatile include: • Transparent color • Lightweight nature • Strength • Shatterproof qualities • Inherent barrier-like qualities • Food safe material • Recyclability
  9. 9. Consumer Benefits of Using PET Plastic ContainersPET plastic continues to be a prevalent material used by packaging companies for other properties including:• Ease of storage• Easy cleaning• Portability• Ability to re-seal
  10. 10. Benefits of Using PET Plastic for Packaging Your ProductsIn addition to being highly convenient for consumers, PET plastic is easy to use allowing for creativity when it comes to packaging design. PET allows for:• Distinctive brand packaging• Innovative packaging designs• A wide-array of applications
  11. 11. Benefits of Using PET: Barrier-Like PropertiesPET’s inherent barrier properties protect and preserve packaged products against moisture (oxygen migration) and carbon dioxide.• Advanced technologies can increase protection for packaged products. These include: • Oxygen scavenger additives • Multi-layers and laminate with additional oxygen and carbon dioxide barrier properties • Silicon oxide (glass) coatings • Carbon coatings
  12. 12. Benefits of Using PET: Lightweight NaturePET packaged products:• Increase efficiency in packaging and shipping• Enable lighter secondary shipping• Reduce fuel needs for shipping• Minimize greenhouse emissions
  13. 13. Benefits of Using PET: Strength & IntegrityPET plastic can be made to be semi-rigid to rigid. It is often the number one choice for small consumer products and food packaging due to it’s• Impact resistance• Scratch resistancePET’s natural ability to resist scratching and overall strength and integrity allow manufacturers to strive for lighter-weight packaging designs.
  14. 14. Benefits of Using PET: Barrier-Like PropertiesPET’s inherent barrier-like properties make PET highly suitable for a variety of product packaging.Most importantly, PET’s protection against oxygen transmission increases shelf life and freshness.In comparison:• PET is ~9 times more effective as a barrier against oxygen transmission• PET is over 40 times more effective as a barrier against oxygen transmission
  15. 15. Benefits of Using PET: Food SafetyPET is a food-safe material, making it a convenient choice for packaging of food products.A few food safety elements of PET:• FDA approved for food and beverage contact• Low hazard (handling or inhaling)• Does not contain BPA• Does not contain heavy metals• Extremely low toxicity
  16. 16. Benefits of Using PET: RecyclabilityRecycling of PET is well established, making it the most widely recycled across the world.About PET recycling:• PET can be recycled more than once• Almost all recycling programs accept PET bottles, and many accept PET thermoforms• PET can be recycled into fiber, fiberfill, carpeting, strapping, food and non-food bottles and PET packaging
  17. 17. Benefits of Using PET: RecyclabilityPET recycling results in:• Conservation of raw materials• Reduced energy use• Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  18. 18. Applications of PET Packaging: Food IndustryThermoformed PET plastic is often used in the food and restaurant industry in the form of baked good packaging and take-out containers.PET plastics in the food industry include:• Clamshells• Deli containers• Microwaveable food trays (frozen food) • Crystallized PET
  19. 19. Applications of PET Packaging: Other IndustriesPET can also be used for product packaging in the following industries:• Cosmetics (Health and Beauty)• Retail (Small Household Goods)The use of PET plastic for other industries usually comes in the form of blisters.
  20. 20. ResourcesPET Basics: Features, Benefits & Information Resources 11_NAPCOR_PET_Interactive.pdf
  21. 21. Plastic IngenuityPlastic Ingenuity is one of the largest custom thermoformers in North America, with in house thermoforming, tooling and extrusion capabilities. The PI team specializes in creating innovative packaging solutions through vertical integration, with unmatched speed to market.A member of the Thermoforming Institute, and a multi-plant manufacturing operation with facilities across North America, PI is committed to being an employer of choice and preserving the environments and communities we call home. Visit for more information.