The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), founded in 1987, is the trade association for the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic packaging industry in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, and is a form of polyester. PET bottles and containers have been safely used to package beverage, food, personal care and household items since the introduction of the first PET bottle in the 1970s; they are easily identified by the #1 code on or near the bottom.
Packaging designers and manufacturers like PET because it’s safe, strong, transparent and versatile, and helps protect product integrity, freshness and taste. Consumers choose it for its clarity, safety, light weight, reseal-ability, shatter-resistance and innovative style. All agree on its recyclability attributes: PET bottles are accepted in virtually all recycling programs in the U.S.; over 60% of U.S. households also have non-bottle PET recycling available to them, and up to 100% of a PET package can be made from recycled PET, which can in turn be recycled again… and again.
Tried and Tested for 35+ Years
Products packaged in PET include beverages, water, peanut butter, salad dressings, pasta sauce, beer, wine, spirits, produce, deli items, candy, baked goods and non-food items such as household cleaners, and health and beauty products.
PET is approved as safe for food and beverage content by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and similar regulating agencies throughout the world. It has been used to package beverages, food and other products for more than 35 years.
Over the years, myths about PET have been picked up and circulated through the internet and social media. To set the record straight: PET never contains or produces Bisphenol A (BPA), dioxins or plasticizers.
Technically, What is PET?
Polyethylene terephthalate items referenced are derived from terephthalic acid (or dimethyl terephthalate) and mono ethylene glycol, wherein the sum of terephthalic acid (or dimethyl terephthalate) and mono ethylene glycol reacted constitutes at least 90 percent of the mass of monomer reacted to form the polymer, and must exhibit a melting peak temperature between 225°C and 255°C, as identified during the second thermal scan in procedure 10.1 in ASTM D3418, when heating the sample at a rate of 10°C/minute.
- To promote the introduction and use of PET packaging.
- To protect the PET package and overcome hurdles to its successful introduction, use and recycling.
- To articulate and communicate the environmental sustainability attributes of PET packaging.
PET is the right package for beverages, food and non-food items
PET packages are made in two ways: blow molded to create bottles, or thermoformed from sheet to create items such as clamshell produce, deli or bakery containers.
Why PET… For Package Developers & Manufacturers
PET’s properties allow for superior innovation, both in terms of package design and performance. This allows you to meet customer needs for new and sophisticated product taste profiles with shelf-popping options in the pack sizes your customers are looking for.
PET is well known for its clarity, making it a lightweight, non-breakable alternative to glass and other plastic resins. Consumers are increasingly interested in authentic, “real food” offerings and transparent PET supports this trend.
PET has good barrier properties that protect and preserve the contents of its package. Oxygen transmission is an important factor in ensuring product shelf life and freshness. PET provides almost nine times more protection against oxygen transmission than does PLA and over 40 times more than HDPE.
PET packaging is increasingly lightweight so you use less per package. PET bottles and jars are accepted for recycling in virtually every program in the United States and Canada, and recycled PET material can be used in bottle and thermoformed packaging over and over again. No other plastic resin can make a stronger closed-loop recycling claim.
Why PET… For Consumers
As a consumer, you desire package innovations that are safe, convenient, offer increasingly sophisticated products, and are made with high product integrity. You also want a package that has verifiable environmental attributes including reduced package weights, manufacturing efficiencies and a strong closed-loop recycling system that you can help support through your own day-to-day PET recycling efforts.
PET delivers, offering innovative, reliable bottles and containers for just about every product imaginable. A transparent, lightweight, strong and shatterproof packaging material, your PET package protects its contents and preserves its taste in a safe, convenient, recyclable package.
PET and recycled PET have been safely used in food, beverage, and other packaging for over 25 years. A PET package can contain up to 100 percent recycled PET, and can be recycled again and again. PET never contains BPA or phthalates.
PET’s versatile material properties are unlike that of any other packaging, allowing designers to translate a brand’s vision to reality through eye-catching design.
Recyclability is a key component of PET sustainability, so be sure your PET packaging innovations—for both bottles and thermoforms—are recycling-friendly, from the package itself to the caps, seals, liners, labels and adhesives used.
Recycling availability: Over 90 percent of U.S. households have PET bottle recycling available to them, with 60 percent having access to non-bottle PET recycling.
Clarity: PET is your silent salesperson, so unleash your brand with the superior clarity of PET. Beverage, produce, bakery, deli, and many other products rely on PET to showcase their quality.
Barrier: PET is an inert, safe material with outstanding barrier properties; it is widely used in food and beverage applications to help keep products fresher longer, reducing waste.
Less packaging needed: Since 2010, collaboration within the PET value chain has helped to cut the weight of PET water bottles by 17 percent. This reduces use of not just PET, but also the secondary packaging and fuel used in product transport.
Domestic recycling and reuse: Nearly 2 billion pounds of PET bottles and jars are collected through recycling in the United States and Canada annually, with about 750 million pounds of clean, recycled material going back into domestic production of new packaging.
Durable: Resistant to stress cracking, PET won’t fracture or break under most applications as compared to other materials.
Functional Design: PET has excellent thermoform properties allowing packaging designers to build in locking tabs, stacking, and tamper evidence features.