Many products containing recycled PET are used every day, thanks to the benefits for consumers and the environment.
Polyethylene terephthalate or polyethylene terephthalate is the material that makes up PET containers. It is a component that is in great demand in many industries due to its unique properties. So much so that PET can be found in a wide range of products that are frequently used in everyday life, underlining its importance in the economy.
Advantages in the use of PET
According to an AMI report entitled ‘Mechanical Plastics Recycling 2022’, the production of plastics recycled through mechanical recycling processes in Europe was 8.2 million tons, while the mechanical plastic recycling rate was 23.1%, with around 35 million tons of plastic entering the waste stream. The production of recycled plastics in the Old Continent is expected to grow at a rate of 5.6% per year until 2030, while, according to the European Green Pact, 55% of plastic packaging waste will have to be recycled by the same year 2030.
Key to achieving this is the performance of companies such as REPETCO, which continuously strives to improve innovation and the safety of recycling procedures. The company has been able to develop its own patented, nature-friendly system for multilayer PET/PE food packaging. By means of a unique process, rPET pellets and rPET are generated that can be reused in the food industry with multilayer PET/PE trays and sheet packaging; in bottles for soft drinks or detergents; and in fibers for the textile and automotive industries..
Recycled plastics production in Europe up 23.1% in 2021 to 8.2 million tons
Among recycled plastics, PET is the material that is most marketed in its new life in different industries. Its properties include:
- Its great lightness.
- Its transparency (which makes it ideal for containers used for consumption, for example, in the food sector).
- Its high level of resistance and impermeability to microorganisms and liquids.
- The resistance to heat and abrasion.
- The high level of flexibility it can withstand.
- It is fully recyclable, in many cases, indefinitely.
Other articles of interest: What are PET/PE containers and why are they revolutionary
What products are made with PET?
The importance of recycled PET in daily life is so evident that it is best to give an example to prove it:
Carlos is passionate about soccer. That’s why he’s going to a bar this afternoon to watch his team’s most important match of the season. At home, he is wearing the official T-shirt, made from recycled polyester (made from mechanically recycled PET, which is then dyed). He has also stored his cell phone and wallet in a backpack made from recycled plastic bottles.
To get where he is now, he uses his new electric car, part of whose body and interiors are made from recycled materials, including PET bottles. Thanks to this material, among other advantages, the vehicle weighs less than other similar vehicles, is more aerodynamic and is more acoustically insulated, which allows him to listen perfectly to the match preview on the radio
Upon arrival, his friend Maria has already asked for a bottle of water, made from recycled PET, as well as the soft drink she is drinking in a plastic container. Maria has also brought some cold meat in a transparent container, also made of PET, which she has just bought at the supermarket.
At that moment Martin arrives and, before sitting down, she takes a pack of chewing gum from the bar’s vending machine. This machine, among other materials, is also made of PET. Above the bar, an advertising sign, also made from recycled PET, announces a beer promotion.
Until the game starts, Martín shows them photos of his new home, as he has just bought several lamps for decoration. Lamps that also contain recycled PET. Just at that moment, the referee blows the whistle to start the match…
Other articles of interest: The challenges of PET packaging in 2022