Claiming that food packaging can ever be sustainable is a bold statement and one that will be challenged by environmentalists everywhere.

However, it's indisputable PET has some outstanding advantages. Here are the five main reasons PET continues to gain favour with manufacturers who want to protect their products while reducing their environmental impact:

1. PET protects beverages and prevents wastage

It is estimated that almost half of all food is wasted worldwide. One of the biggest factors that can combat beverage waste is the fact that PET bottles can be resealed. This means consumers can enjoy their drink throughout the day rather than having to consume it in one go or throw it out, as is often the case with glass and can packaging.

PET also has great barrier properties that protect and preserve the contents of the product. In addition, PET can be used with different technologies to offer greater protection against oxygen and carbon dioxide migration and the impact of light. This means PET prolongs product shelf life and keeps products safe for consumption.

Chirs Dow with bottle_600

3. PET saves resources

Since the introduction of PET over 40 years ago, the weight of standard PET bottles has decreased substantially. This has enabled manufacturers to cut down on both the energy used in production, as well as the resources needed. Furthermore, modern PET bottles are designed to stand up to the rigours of transport by being robust and shatterproof.  Compared with glass bottles, a truckload can contain up to one third more PET bottles because they are lighter and can utilise the full space of the truck. They are also less likely to break, which reduces secondary packaging. 

The wonders of PET-
from Niels Peter Flint

4. PET reduces carbon footprint

Lifecycle studies of PET's energy use and greenhouse emissions have consistently shown that PET offers an outstanding ecoprofile. Two different lifecycle studies conducted in 2009 of glass, can and PET single-serving soft drink containers looked at all the energy consumed and waste produced at each stage of the material's life cycle. The report found that carbonated soft drinks bottled in PET used less energy, created fewer greenhouse gas emissions and generated less solid waste than drinks in glass bottles or aluminium cans.

5. PET is fully recyclable

Today PET is the most widely recycled plastic in the world. All parts of it can be recycled and turned into new items - from new bottles to fleece textiles, fibres, carpeting, thermoformed PET packaging or even football kits, such as those designed by Nike for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil earlier this year.

A 2010 lifecycle study on recycled PET found that producing one tonne of clean recycled PET in place of virgin PET saved an additional 14,067 kWh of energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by another 1,360 kgs4


Get a glimpse into the future of liquid packaging at Drinktec 2017. Sidel and Gebo Cermex experts will be showcasing the latest solutions, innovative technologies and comprehensive service offerings - along with a surprise or two! It's the kind of opportunity that only comes around every four years, so we hope to see you in Munich.

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