What is PET

PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) is a strong but lightweight form of clear polyester. It is unbreakable, transparent and resalable material with physical properties which allow great freedom in design. It is used for making containers for soft drinks, juices, alcoholic drinks, water, edible oils, household cleaners, and other food and non-food applications.

Being a polymer, polyethylene terephthalate's molecules consist of long chains of repeating units only containing the carbon (C), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) organic elements.
pet-definitionPET was first developed for use in synthetic fibers by British Calico Printers in 1941. The patent rights were then sold to DuPont and ICI who in turn sold regional rights to many other companies. Although originally produced for fibers, PET began to be used for packaging films in the mid 1960s and then, in the early 1970s, the technique for blowing bi-axially oriented bottles was commercially developed.

Bottles now represent the most significant use of PET molding resins.

Making a PET bottle starts from the raw material: ethylene and paraxylene. These two substances' derivatives (ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid) are made to react to obtain the PET resin. The resin, in the shape of small cylinders called pellets, is melt and injected into a mould to make a preform. The preform, a sort of test tube shorter than what the bottle will be but with thicker walls, is then blow-moulded. During the blow-moulding phase, high-pressure air is blown into the preform allowing it to take the exact shape of the mould it is set into. The final product is a transparent, strong and lightweight bottle.

It is the strength of the material that contributes to make PET the success it is. Indeed, carbonated soft drinks can generate pressure inside the bottle reaching up to 6 bars. Such high pressure however, thanks to the alignment of macromolecules (crystallization) occurring both during the resin spinning process and the blow-molding process, is not capable of deforming the bottle nor can it make the bottle explode.

Throughout the years, the PET industry has increasingly taken on environmental concerns, significantly decreasing the quantity of raw material needed for the manufacture of bottles. Nowadays, a 1.5 liter PET container is manufactured with just 35 grams of raw material!

Another striking feature of PET on the environmental side is that it is fully recyclable. It was in 1977 that the first PET bottle was recycled and was turned into a bottle basecup. Soon however, the fiber industry discovered the "new" material source and started using it for making textiles, carpets and non-woven’s. Today, even though the "bottle to bottle" recycling process is growing, the fiber market is still the major outlet for recovered PET.

PET package is removed (thrown) to special containers provided for it. These containers are placed only in few cities in Serbia (Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad, etc.). If there is no such container in your neighbor, please e-mail us at office@petreciklaza.com and we will try to organize the placement of the container for removal and collection of PET.

And of course, if you wish to join us in protecting the environment and contribute to turning the waste into usable recycled material (so called recycling of plastic), you can become a part of PET Reciklaza collecting network and a licenced PET collector. Just fill the form or send e-mail to office@petreciklaza.com. Our team of employees is available for you anytime.