Polyethylene terephthalate packaging—or as it’s more commonly known, PET packaging—is a popular material for packaging products in a variety of different industries. PET plastic is popular not only for its crystal-clear transparency and durable yet lightweight nature, but also for the positive impact it has had on the environment. PET packaging is 100 percent recyclable and can be broken down to its base elements in order to create a variety of different products. Recycling PET plastic in this way helps decrease the amount of waste that’s put into landfills each year and reduces the negative impact such waste can have on the environment. Below are just a few of the many things PET plastic can be recycled into.
New PET containers
The most common use for recycled PET plastic is in retail packaging. PET plastic is made from one of the few polymers which can be recycled back into the same format. This means that old PET plastic bottles or packaging can be easily recycled into brand new PET plastic bottles or packaging, with almost no discernable difference between the two items. PET packaging is used by many different industries, including the beauty, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage industries. Utilizing recycled PET plastic to package their products can help an organization decrease their carbon footprint while still ensuring that their products are well protected and beautifully displayed. PET containers made from recycled PET plastic retain the same structural integrity and almost glass-like transparency as containers made from nonrecycled PET plastic. Perhaps the most notable benefit of using recycled PET plastic in this way is that it can be recycled again and again, thereby reducing the amount of pollution and waste that is placed into landfills every year.
It may sound surprising, but PET plastic is actually a common component in many clothing items. As we’ve stated, PET plastic is made from an easily recyclable polymer. While this polymer can be recycled back into its original format, as is the case with recycled PET containers, it can also be recycled into other formats. In the clothing industry, PET plastic is generally broken down into its base polymers, which are then used to create polyester fabric. Polyester fabric can be put to use in many different clothing items and is a popular choice among many clothing brands because of its durable, lightweight, and often wrinkle-resistant nature. Polyester is also a popular material for creating wind and water resistant clothing. PET plastic can also be recycled into Poly-Fil or Fiber-Fil material, which can be put to use as insulation in winter jackets, snow pants, and even sleeping bags.
Similar to its use in the clothing industry, PET plastic can also be used to make carpeting. Using the same processes to break down PET plastic into its base polymers, the materials are then used to produce polyester carpet fibers. Carpets that utilize polyester fibers are quite stain resistant and durable, yet still incredibly soft. When compared to other carpeting materials, such as nylon, polyester carpets build up far less static electricity, making them a wonderful material for homeowners living in a particularly dry climate.
Recycled Carpeting Made With Plastic
Your feet may be resting on recycled plastic water or soda bottles. Most carpeting is made from plastic fibers such as nylon, polypropylene, or polyester. In recent years, manufacturers have been able to create carpet fiber from recycled plastics, such as the plastic used to make beverage bottles. It takes approximately 50 two-liter bottles to create one square yard of carpet fiber.
Like “virgin” plastics, the recycled plastic carpeting fibers often are more stain-resistant and color-fast than materials such as wool, and manufacturing carpeting using recycled plastics produces fewer emissions than using virgin plastics.