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PET & rPET PLASTIC

WHAT IS
PET?

n. A strong, flexible, rigid, high quality, yet lightweight non-toxic plastic material.

polyethylene terephthalate

WHAT IS
rPET?

n. The product when PET plastic is recycled. It takes less energy and natural resources to make rPET (compared to virgin PET)

recycled polyethylene terephthalate

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In Fiber Form, called Polyester, PET is used to make fabrics such as carpets to clothing.

In Plastic Form, called PET (or PETE), PET is used to make a variety of packaging, including bottles.

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RECYCLING PET

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One of the biggest benefits of PET is its 100% RECYCLABILITY.

Recycled PET, also known as rPET, is much more environmentally friendly when compared to PET and other plastics. rPET is also used to produce items such as textiles, carpeting, fibers, as well as other plastic packaging. It is the main raw material used in PINNPACK’s products.

Recycling PET will help decrease the amount of plastic that enters landfills or the Ocean. PET takes thousands of years to break down, which takes up landfill space, and can also contaminate groundwater sources.

TYPES OF RECYCLED PLASTIC

In the journey to becoming more sustainable, there are some instances, where misinformation can be costly towards the overall goal of being sustainable. There are 2 main categories of "Recycled" plastic, Post-Consumer and Post-Industrial. While both keep plastic out of the environment, the sustainability benefits of Post-Consumer recycled plastic are more substantial, compared to Post-Industrial.

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KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

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"Post-Consumer" Recycled Plastics

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PET recovered from a recycling bin, recycling facility, the ocean, or landfill. Basically, it was used by consumers before it was discarded. Post-Consumer recycled plastic is what helps take plastic out of the environment.

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"Post-Industrial" Recycled Plastics

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PET recovered from the manufacturing process. This is also known as scrap or internal regrind. This type of recycled plastic does not necessarily contribute to removing plastic polluted in our environment although it does mean scrap won't be a pollutant.

Ask YOUR supplier if they know the difference!

Can Plastic Be Environmentally Friendly?

ABSOLUTELY!

Learn more about some of the numbers behind recycling and using recycling plastic

POST-CONSUMER rPET BY THE NUMBERS

Producing 1 Pound of rPET takes 79% less energy than producing 1 Pound of Virgin PET

Using rPET reduces Green House Gas emissions by 71% when compared to using Virgin PET.

The Carbon Footprint of rPET plastic is 0.45kg of CO2 per kg of plastic, while the The Carbon Footprint of Virgin PET plastic is 2.15kg of CO2 per kg of plastic.

VIRGIN vs RECYCLED

Advances in recycling technology and plastic product manufacturing has greatly increased the usability of Recycled Plastic. Comparing Virgin PET Plastics and Recycled PET (rPET) Plastics will show that making a shift towards using more recycled plastic in our products is the smarter move, for everyone and the environment!

VIRGIN PET vs RECYCLED PET (rPET)

Intrinsic Viscosity (Of Pellets)

An important property of PET and rPET is called Intrinsic Viscosity (IV). IV is the measure of the polymers molecular weight. Effectively it measures how strong and functional the PET/rPET molecule is. Higher IVs mean higher melting point, lower freezing point, and higher tensile strength. Packaging made with PET/rPET with low IV are more brittle and susceptible to cracking. Packages made with PET/rPET IV can withstand more rigorous environments including freezing applications. 

High IV

The IV of Virgin Resin Pellets is typically around 0.80

The typical I.V. range of rPET PCR pellets is 0.78 - 0.82. As recycling technology advances even further, the capabilities of recyclers to bump up that I.V. increases.

High IV

Virgin (New) PET

Recycled PET (rPET)

Tint/Color

Plastic packaging is used to display & protect products – food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, etc. from damage and decay. Product visual appeal is important to consumers. Due to the processes used in collection, sorting, and processing of plastics - recycled plastics tend to have a gray or yellowish tint. The tint is caused during the “sterilization” phase of recycling that burns off any impurities in the plastic. In general, the higher the recycled content, the tint level increases. As the push for higher recycled content increases, does the grey tint hinder product visibility/perception, or can it be an advantage?

Clear, No Tint

100% Virgin PET Pie Dome

Clear, Slight Grey Tint

Pie Dome made with rPET

Cost & Profitability

An important factor to consider is cost. What factors affect the cost of plastic resins and how does this cost drive the market? Does the cost of recycling hinder an increased use (and acceptance) of recycled content in products?

PET plastic is a petroleum product and therefore follows trends that are seen in the price of oil. There are other factors that affect the price of virgin resin but generally as oil prices increases so does the price of virgin resin

Higher Fluctuation, Generally Lower Cost

rPET pricing is based on the availability of supply. Supply availability is determined by the cost of collection, sorting, and labor to recycle.  Demand also plays a role. If supplies are scarce and the demand high the price increases. Typically, rPET prices are generally more stable. However, recently, the cost of rPET has increased significantly as demand has increased and availability of the material has declined. 

Mild Stability, Generally Higher Cost

Sustainability

A products impact on the environment is an extremely important factor to consider. As the importance of sustainability increases, so does the drive to understand how it plays a role in different products and materials.

Virgin PET plastic is created from petroleum, and therefore must be mined from natural resources. It requires energy as well as water to create resin that will be used to manufacture plastic packaging. Fortunately, PET plastic is the most recyclable and recycled plastic and most PET products can be recycled into a new products

Sustainable

It requires significantly less resources to recycle plastic, compared to creating new plastic from petroleum. This recycled material (rPET) has a lower carbon Foot print than Virgin PET. Similarly to Virgin PET, it can be recycled over again - in theory an unlimited amount of times

More Sustainable

Hover over the blue text to learn more

PET PLASTIC IS A
VALUABLE RESOURCE

 

Using Recycled PET Plastic (rPET)

Today, plastic can be used to make a number of different every day items. The increased creation of recycled plastic material also means that a lot of companies are implementing more recycled plastic into their products. Specifically, plastic water bottles have become a source for many products. Most plastic bottles are made with PET/rPET plastic, the same material used in our food packaging and other popular products.

Here are some products that are created using recycled plastic from water bottles and the companies making it possible!

PRODUCTS & THE BOTTLES IT TAKES TO MAKE THEM

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Adidas x Parley Shoes

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Nike Team USA Kit

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Nike NBA Jerseys
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Patagonia Duffel Bag
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The data in this section is from 2019, therefore some of the numbers above might be adjusted today.

PET/rPET IS THE #1 MOST RECYCLABLE PLASTIC

DID YOU KNOW?

BUT,

NOT ALL PLASTICS ARE CREATED EQUAL

See how the other types of hold up against PET Plastic and Recyclability

COMPARING PLASTICS

Plastics are identified using a Resin Identification Code. That code ranges between 1-7, depending on the type of plastic. However, that number does not mean how recyclable a plastic is. To combat plastic pollution, understanding the types of plastics and their recyclability is really important. The table below explains what types of products are made with each type of plastic and how it is currently recycled, or not recycled.

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Plastic recyclability is based on CA. Please check with your local recycler to see what plastics can be processed.