Recycling PET material – additional information
Polyethylene terephthalate (more commonly PET) is a plastic resin and one of the most common types of polyester materials. PET was discovered and patented in England in 1941 and is now commonly labeled with a #1 on the bottom of packaging in many countries. It is often used as raw material to create packaging for food and other consumer products. The material is commonly used due to its versatility, transparency, resealability, shatter-resistance, and its recyclability. In 2013, over half of the PET bottles globally were recycled, however, only about 14 percent of all plastics were recycled worldwide. It is possible to produce a PET package entirely from recycled PET material. However, PET is semiporous which tends to lead to the absorption of the food or beverage molecules it contained. It is also difficult to remove these residues as heating PET for sterilization would destroy it. Due to these factors, recycled PET bottles tend to be used for lower grade products. Still, PET can be disinfected through ultraviolet radiation. In the United States, the volume of recycled PET containers has steadily risen from 769 million pounds in 2000 to 1.8 billion pounds in 2015. Some 3 million tons of plastic municipal solid waste was recovered in the country.