PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a type of resin and a form of polyester; it is commonly labelled with the code on or near the bottom of bottles and other containers. PET has some important characteristics such its strength, thermo-stability, gas barrier properties and transparency. It is also lightweight, shatter-resistant and recyclable.
Of the 306,00 tonnes of plastic bottles captured for recycling through local authority collections in 2011, PET bottles make up over half of the stream.
Matrix of recyclability
There are numerous elements of bottle design that affect its recyclability and WRAP has worked with key industry players including a selection of soft drinks companies to develop a matrix of recyclability categories, focusing on the production of plastic PET bottles that can be reprocessed back into plastic bottles.
Re-use and reprocessing of PET
Recycled PET (rPET ) can be used to make many new products, including new plastic bottles, clothing, fibrefill, industrial strapping, sheet and film and automotive parts.
As a result, there is a strong demand for recovered PET, and domestic demand for food-grade recycled plastics currently outstrips domestic supply.
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