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Lesson 1: PET

Polyethylene Terephthalate

Confused young man.clear.lite_Adobe_360403915.png

Need to know about a different plastic?

Click on the IRC code to see the lesson!


PET (aka PETE)

Polyethylene Terephthalate
Crushed PET bottles.lite.AdobeStock_61566878.png

The International Resin Code for PET is

PET (or sometimes, PETE) is a widely used plastic that's lightweight, strong and often transparent. It's commonly used in food packaging, including plastic water bottles, but also in fabrics, such as polyester.

If you see an item labeled as rPET, it means that the material is recycled PET.

PET plastic is 

  • Lightweight

  • Semi-rigid

  • Tough

  • Transparent

PET is used for

  • Soft drink bottles

  • Water bottles

  • Food containers

  • Salad domes


Water or soda bottles like these...

But NOT the plastic wrap; and not the colored caps!


CLEAR food containers, like these berry punnets

But NOT foam food containers like this
(which is Polystyrene)

Disposable Lunch Box Styrofoam Food Plate Take Away Food Container Production Line - China

This clear peanut butter jar!

Peanut Butter.lite_AdobeStock_164746173.png

But NOT its lid (yes - that's HDPE!)

Peanut Butter.lite_AdobeStock_164746173.png

CLEAR cosmetic or detergent bottles, like these:

PET packaging in non-food areas – PETplanet 2023-03-15 15-01-28.png
PET packaging in non-food areas – PETplanet 2023-03-15 15-01-28.png

(although not the colored lids or sprays)

And NOT opaque household chemical bottles like these (which are HDPE)

Red HDPE Bottle
Red HDPE Bottle
HDPE Jerry Cans

> Insider's Tip: PET may be clear or coloured, but is ALWAYS see-through.

If you can't see through it, then it isn't PET! 

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Still have questions about plastic types, or what to collect?

Let us know - we can help!

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