A Guide to PET

Polyethene terephthalate, commonly known as PET or PETE, is a commonplace thermoplastic polymer resin that forms part of the polyester family. This versatile and sophisticated plastic is used for various applications as it is safe, shatterproof, strong and can be easily recycled. Here is all you need to know about PET:

PET is a polyester resin, a material type known for its excellent combination of properties like mechanical, thermal, and chemical resistance as well as dimensional stability. Read on to find out more about this incredibly valuable material.

PET qualities

PET is clear, strong and lightweight and can become flexible if stretched thinly. This material is naturally colourless and non-toxic, and can easily be dyed. PET has a high strength to weight ratio, which makes it ideal for use as a protective packaging material. It’s low weight and high strength makes it an economical material, simply by ensuring cheaper transport costs and less material and energy required for production. PET can be processed through manufacturing methods such as injection moulding, extrusion, blow moulding and thermoforming.

 PET has been approved as safe for contact with food and beverages by authorities such as the American FDA.

Uses of PET

PET is commonly used in the production of items for the food and beverage industry, the pharmaceutical sector and for household items. It is used to create items like plastic bottles, shampoo bottles, food trays, take-away containers, vegetable punnets. PET is also used in the garment industry in the form of polyester.

Polyethene terephthalate products are 100% recyclable and PET is one of the most recycled thermoplastics, with recycled PET being used to create fibres, fabrics, sheets for packaging and manufacturing automotive parts. PET carries the number 1 code and has some of the highest recycling rates in South Africa, largely due to the large volume of PET products and the ease of processing. According to Plastics SA,  South Africa currently recycles around 67% of all plastic PET bottles produced, with 74 8328 tonnes of PET recycled in a one year period. In general, South Africa recycles around 15% more than most European countries and one of the world-leaders for recycling.

PET recyclability

PET remains an important and valuable material, one which offers manufacturers, consumers and business substantial advantages.

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