Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics are widely used across different industries today, particularly in the food and beverages (F&B) industry. PET is basically a clear, durable, and lightweight plastic material that is popularly used for packaging food products and beverages. Special grades of PET are also ideal for takeaway food containers and food trays that can be heated in the oven or microwave.
The prominence of PET plastic in the F&B industry is largely attributable to its sturdiness, safety, and convenience. But do you know how this popular food packaging solution came to be? If your answer is no, then this article might interest you! Read on to learn more about PET plastic and how it has become one of the most in-demand materials for food packaging nowadays.
A brief history of PET plastic
PET was first developed by Calico Printers Association in their laboratories in the United Kingdom. Its preparation began in 1940 during the time when phthalic acid was being studied. The association was in fact granted a patent for their efforts in the following year. In the United States, PET was first introduced and used in the mid-1940s by a group of DuPont scientists who were trying to search for polymers that could be utilised to manufacture new textile fibres.
By the late 1950s, researchers then discovered a way to stretch an extruded thin sheet of PET to produce PET film, which is now being extensively utilised as photographic, video, and X-ray film. Later into the 1970s, the material was developed even further to enable the blow-stretch moulding of PET into lightweight but durable and shatterproof bottles. In 1973, PET bottles rapidly obtained market acceptance.
Today, PET remains to be one of the most versatile, reliable, and commonly used materials worldwide. More than 50% of the world’s synthetic fibre is produced from PET, and nearly all 2-litre and individual-sized water or soda bottles sold in many countries are made from PET resin. PET round containers and other forms of PET food packaging are also continuously taking over the restaurant industry to this day.
The future of PET plastic
Due to its various benefits and continuous market acceptance, the future of PET plastic seems to be positive and bright. Compared to their counterparts, PET containers are relatively more affordable and lightweight with a large variety of uses. They keep foods and drinks safe all around the world, and they even make brilliant packaging for non-food products, such as shampoo, mouthwash, liquid hand soaps, window cleaners, and even cotton balls.
Therefore, if you are wondering whether or not PET is here to stay for a long time, the answer is definitely yes! The proven benefits of PET containers make it easy to understand why this safe, sturdy, convenient, and highly sustainable material remains the world’s packaging choice for numerous foods and beverages.
PET plastic has an interesting history and future. Indeed, this popular food packaging material has already stood the test of time, as evidenced by the fact that it continues to be in demand after so many years. In more than 6 decades since PET was first synthesised, it has unsurprisingly become one of the world’s most versatile, trusted, and widely materials. So, if you are running an F&B business, the benefits of PET plastic are definitely something you should not miss!
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