The transparent plastic bottles made using certain shapes called ASB molds or single stage molds have become an inseparable part of our day to day life. We use them to carry drinking water, store medicines, and pack a large number of other beverages. Be it school, a casual stroll in the neighborhood park, holidaying or any other occasion, everybody can be seen everywhere having a plastic bottle in hand.
What is PET plastic using which the bottles are made?
PET plastic, also called polyethylene terephthalate plastic or premium quality plastic is a thermoplastic polymer resin that belongs to the polyester family. A large number of packaging solutions are manufactured around the globe to pack both food and non-food items in the containers made using this type of plastic with the help of ASB molds or single stage molds. PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate plastic) is the most preferred packaging material for most manufacturers because of the following reasons:
Unmatched chemical resistance
Polyethylene terephthalate offers unmatched chemical resistance as it does not react to any food whether solid or liquid in any way. This is the reason it is used for the effective and efficient packaging of almost all types of consumable products in the container made with the help of ASB molds or single stage molds.
Strength to weight ratio
When it comes to strength to weight ratio, PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate) is extremely stronger for its weight. This is one of the most prominent reasons behind its popularity as the most preferred packaging material.
In the past 20 decades, PET plastic has replaced glass as a container making material in its entirety. The principal reason behind this lies in its non-breaking and non-fracturing ability.
Since polyethylene terephthalate is naturally very much transparent, it is desired in almost all types of packaging containers. Besides transparency, it also offers unmatched strength and thermal-stability.
If you look at polyethylene terephthalate from the consumers’ point of view, you will find it has a large number of unique merits and attributes. Some of them are:
- PET Plastic is recyclable
- Resealable, and
- Highly resistant to shattering.
Consumers can easily identify PET plastic by the #1 code which is often printed on the bottom of all containers.
Properties of Polyethylene terephthalate
- Technical Name: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE)
- Chemical Formula: (C10H8O4) n
- Melt Temperature: 500°F (260°C)
- Typical Injection Mold Temperature: 74 – 91 °C (165 – 195 °F)
- Heat Deflection Temperature (HDT): 70 °C (158 °F) at 0.46 MPa (66 PSI)
- Tensile Strength: 152 MPa (22000 PSI) W/ 30% Glass Fiber
- Flexural Strength: 221 MPa (32000 PSI) W/ 30% Glass Fiber
- Specific Gravity: 1.56
- Shrink Rate: 0.1 – 0.3 % (.001 – .003 in/in).
Can containers made of PET plastic affect your health?
Now the question arises whether a container made of PET plastic can affect your health. After all, you consume only the edibles packaged inside them (both liquid and solids), and not the plastic using which the container has been made. These are the most reasonable questions that anybody using a plastic container made with the help of ASB molds or single stage molds can naturally ask.
The answer lies in the following:
Just take an empty PET plastic bottle made using either ASB molds or single stage molds, and just turn it around. All the plastic containers that you use in your everyday life need to have a sort of triangular structure on their surfaces. Created using 3 straight lines that never join their edges, the embossed structure has markings that range from number 1 to 7 denoting the natural plastic that has been used to manufacture that particular bottle in your hand. What these numbers indicate is stated below:
- Number 1 denotes that the container is made of using the most popular and common type of plastic raw material – PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate).
- Number 2 denotes PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
- Number 3 denotes LDPE (Low-density polyethylene), and so on to #7.
By the above numbers, you can conclude that the higher the number of the plastic raw material used to make a particular bottle, the lesser the possibility of the recyclability of the plastic material.
Plastic is a man-made synthetic material with no natural compounds
Be it PET Plastic or any other variant, all are fully man-made synthetic materials with no natural compounds at all. Manufacturers who make use of ASB molds and single stage moldsto produce different plastic containers also mix a large number of organic compounds at different levels and in specific conditions utilizing special purpose machines (SPMs). Since plastic is a fully synthetic material, it is not biodegradable.
The containers made of plastic are recycled and that is where the problem comes to the fore. Most containers that are used for packaging edibles are one-time-use kinds of stuff and they almost create almost no safety threat for human beings.
Recycling multiple times causes the release of BPA (Biphenyl A)
As plastic is not biodegradable, it is usually recycled and the problem surfaces here. When used plastic bottles are recycled many times in the facility, it is natural for molecules to lose their bonding capacity while exhibiting wear and tear at micro-levels. This triggers tiny cracks in the material which in turn causes the release of a chemical called BPA (Biphenyl A). This chemical can cause harm to human beings in many ways. But this is an extreme condition and a common one-time-use bottle is not prone to receiving any harm from the same.
With the constant advancement in the manufacturing of plastic bottles, manufacturers who use ASB molds and single stage molds to produce different plastic containers are coming up with safe and reliable variants of containers with a clear indication of the grading on their bottom. Avoiding plastic in day-to-day life seems almost impossible, but one can be sure whether he or she is using a food-grade plastic or not.
Plastic container manufacturers in their R & D departments are making constant efforts to come up with more environment-friendly and safe-for-human materials. For now, one can make a wise choice to stay safe.