PET is a remarkably energy-efficient packaging material. Add to that its strength, versatility, and recyclability, and PET boasts an excellent sustainability profile.
Although the feedstocks for PET are petroleum based, the environmental impact of PET is very favorable in comparison to glass, aluminum and other container materials. PET's exceptional capacity-to-weight ratio is a key to its energy efficiency, putting more product in less packaging, utilizing less weight and less fuel for transporting.
Ongoing advances in technology continue to decrease the weight of PET containers and to boost the energy efficiency of PET even more. For example, a two-liter PET bottle weighed approximately 68 grams in 1980; today it weighs between 42 and 45 grams.
The "lightweighting" of PET containers has also resulted in reducing the average weight of the 0.5 liter PET bottle by 48% in the past ten years. Most single-serve PET bottles for water now weigh a little less than 10 grams, yet are strong enough to hold 50 times their weight in water.
PET: A Responsible & Sustainable Use of Oil
There’s a common misperception that plastics use a large amount of the world’s petroleum.
Less than 4% of the world’s oil production goes to produce all types of plastics. PET accounts for less than ½ of 1 percent.*
Because PET is fully recyclable, it’s a highly sustainable material. Every time a PET container is recycled, its petroleum feedstocks can be recaptured and reused.
Recycling Adds to PET's Sustainability
The outstanding recyclability of PET further enhances it sustainability, providing an effective and efficient means of recapturing and reusing the energy and resources of its raw materials.
Technological advances over the past decade have made it possible to create recycled PET that meets the same hygienic and safety standards as virgin PET.
The closed-loop recycling of used PET bottles into new food-grade PET containers is one of the most desirable means of dramatically extending the environmental benefits and sustainability of PET as a packaging material.