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Rigid PET Packaging


Rigid PET

As noted by the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR): due to its clarity and natural CO2 barrier properties, PET is one of the most widely used packaging resins. It is easily blown into a bottle or formed into a sheet, but does not normally have the desired properties for closures, handles, attachments or labels, so other polymers are commonly used for these items and affixed to the PET package.

The Golden Design Rules identify single-use rigid PET as a preferred resin, but, as detailed in GDR #1 and #5, there are a number of important considerations to maximize packaging sustainability.  Rigid PET is also extensively used in reusable bottled beverage systems, for which the GDRs are also applicable.

Rigid PET Packaging Types

  1. Blow molded packaging: e.g., beverage bottles
  2. Thermoformed packaging: e.g., clamshells, trays, tubs, cups, lids, boxes, egg cartons

Sustainable Packaging Options & Uses Cases

Supporting Resources – Rigid PET-specific packaging

Useful resources to consider as you explore enhancing or using rigid PET packaging include:

General Information
  • APR Design Guidance for PET packaging
    American Plastics Recycling (APR)

    The American Plastics Recycling (APR) design guidelines for enhancing and ensuring increased recyclability of PET packaging.

  • PET: Frequently Asked Questions
    National Associatin for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR)

    Answers FAQ regarding PET containers including safety and recycling related questions.

  • The Environmental Benefits of PET Recycling: LCA Study 2020
    National Associatin for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR)

    Life cycle analyses have examined energy requirements and environmental impacts of producing both recycled PET (RPET) and new, virgin material (VPET). Results show that the production of RPET pellets has significantly better results for the environment than that of VPET in almost every impact category measured.