When it comes to plastics, polyethylene terephthalate or PET is one of the most commonly used polymers on the planet. It’s often used to create those single-use plastic water bottles, but PET and PETG plastic can be great options for many different types of packaging, and here’s why.
1. PET & PETG Plastic Is Easy To Recycle
Plastics can be great packaging materials for many reasons. They are impact-resistant, moisture-resistant and affordable, but some types of plastic are more than others. PET and PETG, which is a PET that has been modified with glycol, are the easiest plastics to recycle, accepted by all curbside recycling programs. This can make PET or PETG a great option for eco-friendly packaging.
Additionally, whenever you see a plastic recycling bin in a park or public space, you are pretty much guaranteed that PET and PETG are accepted. If a plastic item or package has the triangular recycling symbol with the number one in it, this means it was created using PET or PETG plastic, and you are free to toss it into just about any recycling bin.
When it comes to sustainability, the team at Indepak can create packaging using new PET or PETG, as well as using PET formed from fully or partially recycled content. Of course, we also can use starch-based bioplastics for some packaging projects, and these have some properties similar to PET. Be sure to ask our design team about sustainable options when you begin discussing your packaging needs.
2. PET & PETG Are Approved For Food Contact
If you run a specialty food or beverage company, finding FDA-approved packaging is crucial. PET and PETG are approved for food contact, and they can be used to create everything from bottles to thermoform trays and clamshells. This includes cookie and cracker trays, as well as clamshells for fruits and veggies, deli sandwiches and much more. In addition to being approved for use as custom food packaging, PET and PETG also are approved by the FDA as a material for medical and pharmaceutical packaging.
3. PET & PETG Plastics Are BPA-Free
There is some concern about using plastics with a chemical known as bisphenol-A or BPA. Some research suggests that if the packaging contains BPA, this chemical might seep into foods or beverages. Although more study needs to be done, there is evidence to suggest that BPA may raise blood pressure temporarily and it may be harmful in the development of infants and children.
If you need packaging for foods or beverages, neither PET nor PETG contains this chemical. In addition to PET and PETG, plastics labeled with the recycling number of 2, 4 and 5 also are BPA-free. Many manufacturers choose to advertise on their packaging that the materials used are BPA-free, which can be a good practice as it provides consumers with some peace of mind.
It’s interesting to note that BPA is not just found in some plastic materials. BPA is used to line aluminum cans, as well. Soda cans and canned foods may contain trace amounts of BPA, and other plastic items, such as plastic utensils can contain small amounts of BPA. When it comes to purchasing reusable water bottles, utensils, plastic storage containers and other multi-use plastics, you typically can find BPA-free options for all of these items and we can find BPA-free options for your packaging, as well.
4. PET & PETG Save You Money – In Several Ways
First and foremost, plastic materials tend to always win in terms of affordability. Paper, cardboard, aluminum and glass are costlier material choices, so companies will save money by choosing affordable plastic materials.
However, the cost of materials is just one aspect to consider. Plastics, such as PET and PETG, are extremely lightweight and this reduces your transportation costs, which are typically calculated by size and weight. It’s also important to note that it takes far less energy to transport plastic packaging than packaging created from any other material.
5. Plastics Protect Your Product
This is true of just about any plastic packaging material, and PET and PETG plastic are no exception. Plastics are impact-resistant and moisture-resistant. This keeps your product safe during storage, transport and while it sits on a store shelf. No other materials can protect products as well as plastic. Aluminum can dent, glass can break and cardboard is susceptible to damage and not nearly as moisture-resistant.
6. PET & PETG Allow Consumers To See Your Product
Clear packaging can be an excellent option for many products as consumers generally want to see what they are purchasing. Obviously, with specialty food items, such as a deli sandwich or fresh fruit, consumers are far more likely to select items when they can see the quality of the items, but this is true of many retail and personal care products as well.
Should You Select PET or PETG?
PET and PETG are similar materials, and both are equally easy to recycle, but they do have a few important differences. PET is less affected by UV light than PETG, and PET is highly scratch-resistant. Additionally, PET is an easier material to work with, so if you opt for PETG, you need to find a packaging supplier with a great deal of experience working with PETG plastic, such as ourselves.
Still, PETG can be an excellent choice for many packaging products. It’s more transparent than PET, which means it’s easier for consumers to see your product. PETG is more durable and impact-resistant than PET and it feels softer to the touch, which can appeal to consumers. It’s also highly chemical-resistant, more so than PET. We also can use RF sealing with PETG, but not with PET.
If you need custom plastic packaging, such as thermoformed trays, plastic clamshells or blister packaging, we can help, and we can help you decide if your packaging should be formed using PET plastic, PETG plastic or another material. At Indepak, we’ve been designing and producing custom packaging solutions for our clients since 1967. Give us a call today and we can discuss your packaging options.