PET, which stands for polyethylene terephthalate, is a clear, strong and lightweight plastic belonging to the polyester family.
It is typically called "polyester" when used for fibers or fabrics, and "PET" or "PET Resin" when used for bottles, jars, containers and packaging applications.
PET is the world's packaging choice for many foods and beverages because it is hygienic, strong, lightweight, shatterproof, and retains freshness. It is most commonly used to package carbonated soft drinks and water. Consumers can identify PET FILM containers by the triangular #1 resin identification code found on the bottom of PET bottles and jars.
Virtually all single-serving and 2-liter bottles of sodas and water sold in the U.S. are made from PET plastic. PET FILM is also popular for packaging salad dressings, cooking oil, peanut butter, shampoo, liquid hand soap, mouthwash, and other personal care items. Special grades of PET are used for take-out containers and prepared food trays that can be warmed in the oven or microwave.
PET is a very inert material that is resistant to attack by micro-organisms, and does not react with food products, which is why it is widely preferred for packaging foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals. Health-safety agencies around the world have approved PET as safe for use with foods and beverages.
Best of all, PET FILM is recyclable and highly sustainable. It is the most recycled plastic in the United States and worldwide. PET can be recycled again and again – back into containers for foods, beverages and personal care products – or into carpet, clothing, automotive parts, construction materials, industrial strapping, and scores of other products.
Although the feedstocks for PET are petroleum based, the environmental impact of PET is very favorable in comparison to glass, aluminum and other recyclable container materials. That's because the light weight and strength of PET allows more product to be delivered with less packaging weight and less fuel than most other container materials.