Polyethylene terephthalate or PET / PETE, is used to
manufacture the packaging of some food products. This includes the
packaging for fruit and drinks containers. It is lightweight, usually
transparent, although it is also available in a range of colours. It is
sometimes referred to a polyester, as it is a member of the polyester
family of polymers.
PET / PETE is a thermoplastic polymer and has
good strength , ductility, stiffness and hardness. It can be processed
through vacuum forming, injection moulding, compression moulding and blow
PET / PETE is 100% recyclable, making ideal for
packaging. It can also be recycled back, either to its original elements
or into polyester fibres which are used in synthetic carpets. PET fibres
are used in synthetic clothing and other textile products. Although PET
fibres do not have the same ‘feel’ as natural fibres, it is relatively
wrinkle free and less expensive. PET fibres are often mixed with natural
fibres, combining the properties of both.
PET can be used for the
manufacture of microwavable trays. This is evident when inspecting the
recycling symbol, on the packaging of microwavable meals. It also resists
the heat of domestic ovens, making it ideal for the packaging of
pre-prepared oven meals.
It is used in containers for cosmetic
products and pharmaceutical products.
When in the form of bottles,
it is extremely strong and can withstand knocks and drops without
breaking, unlike its glass equivalent. It is extremely lightweight, which
is another advantage, compared to glass.