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What is PET?

Check out PET Basics, a comprehensive look at the features and benefits of the PET package. Download it in English or Spanish here.

PET is polyethylene terephthalate.

It's a plastic resin and the most common type of polyester. Two monomers—modified ethylene glycol and purified terephthalic acid—are combined to form the polymer called polyethylene terephthalate. PET was discovered and patented in England in 1941.

PET is the plastic labeled with the #1 code.

Many beverages, food items and other consumer products are delivered in bottles or packages made from PET. The #1 code is usually found on or near the bottom of the container.

PET makes good packages for food and non-food items.

Manufacturers like it because it's safe, strong, transparent and versatile. Customers choose it for its safety, light weight, resealability, shatter-resistance and recyclability. Up to 100% of a PET package can be made from recycled PET, and the material can be recycled again and again.

PET can be recycled into many new products.

It's used to make new bottles, but recycled PET can also be made into fiber for carpets; fabric for t-shirts or fleece jackets; fiberfill for sleeping bags, winter coats, and dog beds; industrial strapping; sheet and thermoformed (clam shell) packaging; and automotive parts such as headliners, bumpers, and door panels. 

News & Events
December 5, 2016
Link to 2-minute "Your Bottle Means Jobs" Video
December 5, 2016
New Video Highlights Job Creation Through Plastic Bottle Recycling (link to full press release)
November 2016
Going Beyond Collection: NAPCOR looks at PET thermoform recycling opportunities and challenges in November issue of "Plastics Recycling Update"
> More News
A guide to setting up PET recycling programs outside of the conventional curbside and drop-off programs.
> learn more