Benefits of PET Plastic Bottle Packaging

A picture of PET plastic manufacturing

Have you ever glanced at the bottom of a product in a plastic bottle or jar to see what it’s made out of? There’s a strong chance you have encountered one made from polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET). It’s strong, break-resistant, and can be as clear as glass bottles or jars. 

PET makes an excellent choice as a raw material in many industries. Factors such as its chemical resistance, strength-to-weight ratio, shatterproof properties, and low-cost to product make it an accessible solution for consumable product packaging.

Advantages of Using PET Plastic Bottles

First, we would like to clear up a few common misconceptions about plastic bottles.

  • Some plastic bottles are not recyclable
    • Yes, there are recycling and waste management companies that have restrictions on certain plastic products, but overall you should be able to recycle any plastic product that you purchase from a grocery store. This includes single-use bags
  • Plastic creates the most litter
    • It’s actually cigarette butts that are the most common piece of litter in the world. While it’s unfortunate to see plastic in the environment, it can always be picked up and recycled
  • Plastic bottles and food containers cause cancer
    • This myth started as a viral email and has since spread. There has yet to be a current link to this myth based on current evidence and scientific studies over the last 10 years

A picture of bottles in a recycling container

PET plastic bottles have many advantages not only for the products being stored but also for the consumer and the environment. Some of these advantages include:

  • Energy Savings
    • PET packaging uses significantly less energy and natural resources during the manufacturing process compared to glass packaging production. This includes fossil fuels and water
  • Recyclable
    • Did you know that PET plastic bottles are 100% recyclable? Through modern advancements in manufacturing technology, plastic bottles have been redesigned to be 30% lighter, reducing the amount of plastic used to make them
  • Chemical Resistance
    • PET creates a strong barrier with the outside environment allowing little to no oxygen passthrough. It does not react with water or food, making it perfect for packaging consumable goods
  • Shatterproof
    • Unlike glass, PET plastic will not break or shatter. This makes it a safer option than a glass container. This also makes it safer and cheaper to transport once filled
  • Flexibility
    • Since PET can be molded into different shapes at a lower cost than glass, it makes it easier for brands to have a distinctive packaging design to identify and promote their products, everything from water, to carbonated soft drinks and more, and ultimately to help the product stand out on the store shelf.

A close up look at plastic bottles

What is a PET Bottle and Why is PET Plastic Suitable for Bottles?

PET is a popular choice for plastic bottles because of its unrivaled strength-to-weight ratio, cost reduction, transportation savings compared to its glass counterparts, and its track record for safety and reliability when packaging consumer products.

From the onset of the manufacturing process, PET is engineered to be a strong, yet pliable material that allows for its use in several different types of plastic bottles and containers. It is important to note that each bottle is tested and carefully monitored to meet safety standards. By using compounds such as PET, we can have safe plastic bottle containers that save energy throughout manufacturing, are economical to make and are also recyclable and sustainable.

Is PET Plastic Safe?

PET plastic is a safe packaging material for many food and beverage products. PET plastic has been approved as safe for food and beverage contact by the FDA in the United States and similar regulatory bodies across North America and around the globe for more than 30 years. 

One of the main concerns from the general public has been the “leeching” of chemicals from plastic bottles into the products they are consuming. As part of its assessment, the FDA checks for the transfer of plastic components and other substances to the liquid contents of the bottle, which has been within safe standards.

Other safety concerns include:

  • Phthalates
    • PET is not and does not contain phthalates. Although it contains the suffix -thalate, phthalates are not used in the manufacture of PET plastic bottles.
  • Endocrine Disruptors in Plastics
    • Contrary to popular belief, PET plastics do not contain endocrine disruptors.
  • Heat Can Cause Dioxins to Release from Plastic
    • PET plastics do not contain dioxins, nor do they create them when heated in the microwave or left in the car on a hot day. Additionally, dioxins cannot be formed without the presence of chlorine, which PET plastics do not contain.
  • Reusing Plastic Water Bottles
    • PET water bottles and containers can often be reused. However, water bottles labeled for single-use should be appropriately disposed of and recycled.

Plastic water bottles on an assembly line

In summary, PET is the most widely trusted plastic for direct-to-consumer goods, especially for beverage and food packaging. There are many reasons why so many companies and brands use it. Its strength and flexibility are comparable to glass, But it is cheaper to produce and transport both before and after bottling.

TricorBraun offers a variety of PET products. Shop our entire category of lightweight PET plastic bottles and jars. If you have any questions regarding PET and your product give us a call or shoot us an email. We are happy to assist!


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