Humans are pro at transforming and evolving items according to the changing needs. This holds true to all possible items from technology, machinery, daily use items, etc. The transformation aims to make the product better in terms of functionality as well as looks. However, in the case of plastic products, this has been a bit different story.
Plastic came into existence intending to render user-friendly packaging, ease of use, and discard. People began choosing plastic products over all other alternatives, and soon a huge demand came into the market. But soon, people started realizing that the plastic they discarded after use negatively impacted the environment; the concern became grave with each passing day. The reason was that plastic manufactured by companies was initially a single-use product. Thus, leading to the enormous amount of plastic waste in dump yards.
Again, there was a need to transform the plastic type and find an alternative that would not harm nature. This led to the introduction of recyclable plastic, and since then, PET bottles have been evolving in terms of lightweight, environment-friendly, and design. With the emergence of EPR in India and other countries, plastic waste management has become a popular campaign, and people are contributing their best to ensure that the least possible waste is generated.
Features of PET Beverage Bottles
Here are some salient features of recyclable plastic bottles that everyone should be aware of:
- PET bottles are recyclable and are made of PET flakes.
- They are transparent and unbreakable.
- It lends flexibility in designing to the manufacturer, which leads to space optimization during storage.
- The manufacturers get a wide range of size variations from approximately 100ml bottles to big 20 litres containers.
- Easy to ship since they are stackable and less prone to damage during transit.
- The PET bottle flakes have low permeability for gases and liquids, which helps maintain the integrity and composition of the stored liquid.
People have been increasingly condemning the plastic waste accumulating in landfills and contaminating the water resources. To tackle this situation, the government has introduced EPR to encourage plastic recycling to the maximum extent and eliminate virgin plastic as far as possible.
Comparing the PET bottles vs. other packaging alternatives
PET stands for Polyethylene terephthalate. Also, there are other variants of plastic like HDPE (high-density Polyethylene), PP (Polypropylene), and LDPE (low-density Polyethylene). Each plastic type has different characteristics in terms of impact resistance and temperature resistance, and hence, used for various purposes. In the below segment, we will compare PET bottles to packaging materials to understand why it outperforms others.
PET plastic vs. Polylaminate cardboard
- General composition of polylaminate cardboard is paper, Polyethylene, and aluminium traces. Here are some differential points between the two packaging mediums:
- The carton packages are not see-through. Therefore, consumers cannot know what is inside the container.
- Cardboard packages have less mechanical strength when compared to PET.
- When manufacturers work with polylaminate cardboard, they get limited size options.
- Usually, the packages made of cardboard do not offer shape flexibility.
HDPE vs. PET plastic
HDPE containers are also famous for packaging stuff like liquid chemicals, beverages, and food and beauty products. Today, HDPE is widely used for storing large quantities of liquids. Therefore, they are most commonly used in industrial packaging. Here are some differences between PET and HDPE:
- HDPE plastic packaging is opaque. However, consumers cannot see the ingredients of the container but can make out the fill level by looking from a close distance.
- HDPE products are tough. They are difficult to break and hence, excellent packaging material for detergents, cleaning agents, etc.
- Packaging materials made of HDPE are heavier when compared to PET bottles with similar volume capacity.
- In most cases, HDPE is costlier than PET alternatives.
Pet plastic containers vs. tin and glass
Aluminium tins were popular as beverage storing containers before PET came into existence. Even today, some major beverage players offer their products in tins, but the demand has declined since end-users find plastic bottles convenient. Below are some points where PET bottles score above glass and tins:
- Aluminium tins used for storing carbonated beverages emit twice as much as plastic bottles. This way, the cans tend to have their own environmental effect.
- Tins and glass packaging are prone to damage and thus, need streamlined transport service. Manufacturers need to take extra care when palletizing the containers for dispatch, which calls for expertise.
- Once used, Aluminium tins cannot be reused for storing liquid, making it a one-time use product. Though glass bottles can be reused umpteen times if the cap is reusable, end users usually avoid these bottles considering the breakage factor.
- People find PET plastic bottles more convenient to use, and the variety in size offered by plastic makes it a winner over glass and tin packages.
Scientists and environmentalists are making efforts to design PET bottles that can be recycled easily, which would help recyclers perform their tasks. This is crucial since recycling is the only alternative to ensure that plastic waste does not pollute the environment.
Companies have set up units to collect and recycle the waste into flakes. These recycled PET flakes suppliers in India need authorization from the government for which they apply for registration and license. The license implies that the company has the required technology and workforce to recycle and produce flakes and chips per standards. It is mandatory to maintain the standards since recycled plastic is equally good quality as virgin plastic.
Recycled plastic waste can also be transformed into regenerated polyester staple fiber. This fiber finds use in several industries like clothing, home furnishing, construction, etc. Features like high resistance, quick drying, and low maintenance have led to an increase in demand. Thus, recycling is the future, and with constant efforts, we will be able to find several other ways in which we can use recycled waste and create a significant difference for a better world tomorrow. Everyone should try minimizing the use of plastic products wherever possible and use recyclable plastic when no other option seems to be better. Responsible usage today will eventually make an impact.