Facts on PET

Facts On Pet

Know the Facts

PET plastic (also known as PETE and designated by a recyclable “1”) does not contain BPA. Most single-serve plastic bottles, including those for water, soft drinks and juices, are made with PET. PET is globally recognized as a safe, recyclable packaging material. Numerous tests have created a broad scientific consensus that PET is non-toxic and is a safe material for the storage of food and beverages. Facts on PET supports the efforts of regulators to ensure that plastics are safe for the public through scientific testing and analysis.

PET Safety

The International Life Sciences Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of topics related to food safety, toxicology and risk assessment, has drafted a comprehensive review of PET available as a PDF.

There are numerous sources for accurate information about PET and the plastics industry. We encourage you to learn about PET from knowledgeable sources in the academic and regulatory communities. To submit questions about PET, please e-mail us at facts@factsonpet.com.


PET is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly packaging option. A recent Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) conducted by the Allied Development Corporation determined how the environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of manufacturing and transporting PET relates to alternative forms of packaging. The first study found that in North America, PET is the most favorable alternative when compared to aluminum cans and glass bottles for a 355 ml carbonated soft drink application. When measuring greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, PET containers had the best performance.

The following LCA studies relating to PET are available for viewing:

Bottlers have been consistently reducing the amount of material that goes into manufacturing beverage containers. Half-liter plastic water bottles now use as little as 12 grams of PET, nearly 40% less than the average amount just a few years ago. Likewise, soft drink bottles, though heavier to keep in carbonation, are becoming increasingly lighter. These lightweight PET bottles require fewer raw materials to produce, less fuel for transport and are still completely recyclable. We encourage the development of new technologies to decrease the environmental impact of PET containers, increase recycling services and improve consumer recycling habits of PET and other recyclable products.

Husky Injection Molding Systems (www.husky.ca) recently announced the development of new manufacturing equipment that helps increase the amount of recycled material in PET bottles, helping to make them even more sustainable.

Know Your Plastics

Most plastic containers are labeled with a recycling code, a single digit ranging from 1 to 7 that helps recyclers sort the different kinds of plastics in the market. While the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) created the code to facilitate recycling, consumers can use the system to understand what kind of plastics can be recycled in their area.

Symbol Type of material Where is it found Uses after recycling
PETE Polyethylene
  • Soft drinks
  • Juices
  • Single serve water bottles
  • Beer
  • New soft drink bottles
  • Polyester clothing
  • Sleeping bag insulation
  • Carpeting
HDPE High density
  • Cleaning products
  • Industrial products
  • Personal care products
  • Garbage bags
  • Bottles
  • Grocery Bags
  • Bins
  • Plastic lumber
V Polyvinyl chloride
(V or Vinyl or PVC)
  • Medical tubing
  • Construction products
  • Pipe
  • Fencing
  • Non-food bottles
LDPE Low density
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Shopping bags
  • Plastic food wrap
  • Plastic bags
  • Containers
  • Bottles
  • Tubing
PP Polypropylene
  • Squeezable condiment bottles
  • Margarine containers
  • Food storage containers
  • Automotive parts
  • Food containers
PS Polystyrene
  • Styrofoam containers
  • Disposable cutlery, cups and bowls
  • Take-out food containers
  • Cafeteria trays
  • Toys
  • Video cassettes and cases
  • Insulation board
Other Other

This catch-all category contains any plastics that do not fit within the other six categories:

  • Polycarbonate
    • Refillable plastic bottles
    • Baby bottles
    • Metal food can liners
    • Consumer electronics
  • Biodegradable resins
    • Food and beverage packaging
  • Other plastics

For answers to commonly asked questions about PET bottles, please see the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR)