Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is manufactured using oil or gas (100 %). A kilogram of PET is produced using approximately 1.9 kilos of crude oil.
It is composed of the elements carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Nowadays there are PET-bottles on the market that are produced partially using plant-based materials. Plant-based raw materials used are molasses – a byproduct of sugar production – or sugar cane sap.
PET is grouped among polyester materials. The base material was developed in 1941 in the US and has since been used as high grade synthetic fiber – for instance under the brand name “Trevira“– in the textile industry. The PET used today is refined polyester and its material properties have been further improved.
Material properties: transparent, low weight, resilient, strong, unbreakable – bottles can even survive falling from a height of 2 meters due to the elasticity of the material, hygienic, excellent wear and tear properties. Since PET is a thermoplastic plastic it is shapeable at a temperature of 250°C, and can be modeled into practically any conceivable shape.
Application: Bottles (drinks, foodstuffs, cosmetics), containers, PET sheeting, fibers; PET is also used as packaging and production material (packaging material for infusions, surgical sewing thread, balloons for vasodilation) in sensitive medicinal areas, such as surgery and pharmacy; breathable textiles for sports and leisure time (fleece materials), pillow fillings for allergy sufferers, wear-resistant carpeting or airbags and safety belts.
During the production pf PET for bottling purposes the granulate undergoes an additional refining process in order to specifically improve the strength properties. Being a packaging material for foodstuffs and drinks it conforms to strict legal criteria, so even baby food may be bottled in PET-bottles.
Gerolsteiner aims to fully meet every customer demand and thus serves all three packaging segments – PET non-reusable, PET reusable, and glass reusable bottles. The percentage of PET reusable and non-reusable bottles is 79,6.
Proposed addition: The use of recycled PET: Mineral water is a very sensitive product. In view of this, Gerolsteiner has so far refrained from using recycled PET in the production of mineral water bottles – contrary to some other producers. Nevertheless Gerolsteiner has been seriously addressing the issue for several years. However, for a product such as mineral water, which is sensitive in regards to flavor, the risk of adverse effects is too big – at least at the current state of knowledge.
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Mineralienstein mit Calcium, Magnesium und Hydrogencarbonat: ElementalImaging / iStockphoto