Plastic can be an excellent material choice for many types of packaging, in terms of affordability and protectability, but it also can be an excellent choice for companies looking for sustainable packaging options. While there are many eco-friendly materials to consider, let’s take a look at one of the most popular – rPET.
- rPET is PET’s Recycled Cousin
PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate and this is one of the popular options for plastic packaging. It’s inexpensive, lightweight, clear, moisture-resistant and approved for food contact as well as for use for medications and supplements. If you are looking for a recyclable packaging option, PET is one of your best options, as it is accepted by virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States.
But, if you want to take sustainability to the next level, you might consider rPET, which simply stands for recycled PET. In some cases, your rPET might be a mix of recycled or new (virgin) PET or you might opt for rPET with 100% recycled content, depending on your budget. rPET is more expensive than virgin PET, but it is still more affordable than many other packaging materials.
- rPET Is Approved For Food Contact
While not all recycled plastic is approved for food contact, rPET is approved for use in food packaging, as well as with medications. We can use rPET to create custom clamshell packaging, blister packaging, thermoformed trays, medical blister packs and more. Of course, rPET also can be used as a packaging material for virtually any retail product.
- rPET Is Recyclable Packaging
Not only does rPET contain recycled content, but it also can be recycled. Consumers can toss rPET packaging into a recycling bin just as they would with PET and many other types of thermoform plastic.
rPET can be recycled many times to be used again and again as packaging. Once it reaches the end of its lifecycle as a packaging material, it can be used to create other items such as carpet fibers, reusable totes, upholstery and polyester fabric.
- rPET Lowers Your Carbon Footprint
Recycling plastic for other uses takes far less energy than producing virgin plastic. When you opt for using recycled content you are reducing the energy needed to produce your packaging and reducing your carbon footprint, but that’s not the only advantage to using rPET.
Anytime you use plastic, whether it be virgin PET, rPET or some other resin, you are opting for a lightweight material that takes far less energy to transport than any other material. Paper packaging and glass, for instance, weigh significantly more than plastic materials. This means if you fill one truck with packages made from plastic and one with packaging made of paper or glass, the truck with the plastic packaging won’t use as much fossil fuel to transport the packaging from place to place.
- rPET Saves Money – In More Than One Way
While rPET materials are more expensive than virgin PET, they still can be more affordable than non-plastic packaging materials. In the last point, we talked about the lower carbon footprint associated with shipping plastic. If it takes less fuel to transport your goods, then your transportation costs (often calculated by weight) will be lower.
Additionally, plastic is durable, protective and impact-resistant, keeping your products safe during transport and while they sit on a store shelf. We also can design tamper-proof packaging that prevents damage and theft, which helps to increase your profits.
When it comes to food packaging, rPET can help prevent food waste by extending the life of your food products. rPET is compatible with modified atmosphere packaging, and the team at Indepak can work closely with your lidding film supplier to ensure material compatibility.
Indepak & Recyclable Packaging
At Indepak, virtually all of the materials we use are recyclable. Whether you want recyclable packaging or sustainable packaging created with rPET or another material with recycled content, we can create a packaging design that fits your needs and budget.
We are committed to sustainability and maintain a low-waste operation in every part of our company. We were recycling, reusing and reducing long before it was popular or required. In addition to providing a variety of post-consumer grade materials, all of the materials we use are compliant with regulations such as REACH, RoHS and EICC.
Since 1967, we have been a leader and innovator in the thermoforming and packaging industry. Our production and design teams have extensive experience with PET, PETG plastic and rPET. Over the years, we’ve created packaging for a wide range of industries, including specialty foods, medical & pharmaceutical, electronics, personal care as well as a myriad of retailers. Give us a call today to discuss your packaging needs.