What You Need To Know About Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)


Picture yourself in any big box store and think about all the products you see surrounding you on the shelves. Regardless of what aisle you’re in, chances are fairly good that you’re surrounded by a ton of items wrapped in plastic. Maybe you’re in the appliances area; maybe you’re in the chip and cracker aisle. No matter where you are, there’s lots of plastic.

Everywhere you look these days from the clothes you’re wearing to the bottle you’re drinking out of to many of the food and beverages you buy from a convenience store, there’s some kind of plastic involved.


While many kinds of plastics are used in manufacturing goods, polyethylene or polythene also known as PE is the most commonly used plastic with annual production of about 80 million tons. When it comes to thermoplastic polymers, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most commonly used in the world. You see it everywhere, but chances are you know it by a different name: polyester.


With its strength, resistance to water and the fact that it’s shatterproof, polyester is widely used in many areas of manufacturing. You’ll find polyester in everything from clothes to plastic bottles to all kinds of packaging. For a raw plastic distributor, polyester is easy to find, so it’s easily available and easy to distribute.


Polyester was originally used by chemists in the 1940s and has grown into one of the world’s most highly sustainable materials, which also has a positive environmental profile. Since it is so widely used, the global demand for it is more than 50 million metric tons, which means many an industrial plastic distributor can make a profit supplying manufacturers who are always in need of it for production.


It’s important to remember that PET or polyester is known for:

  • Impressive strength despite being a lightweight material
  • The fact that it’s shatterproof
  • Its resistance to water and food (a big reason why it’s ideal in food packaging)
  • The fact that it is naturally transparent


So why is it so beloved by manufacturers and industrial plastic distributors? Aside from being readily available in many places, its collective properties make it an absolutely perfect material when it comes to making things for mass consumption. Adding polyester to fabrics for clothing adds plenty of strength and helps make clothing more resistant to tearing and wrinkling, which is greater for the endgame if you’re a customer buying a piece of clothing off the rack. Since it doesn’t react to water or food, it’s widely used in food packaging.


It’s important to note that PET is available in many different forms if you’re dealing with a raw plastic distributor or an industrial plastic distributor and may have different names depending on how it’s used. Polyester is used for naming when referring to PET in textiles. In food and beverage packaging, it’s commonly known as PET resin.


A raw plastic distributor can also supply PET for a number of other uses including 3-D printing, injection molding and also in CNC machining. Its flexibility and strength allow it to be easily malleable (or easily shaped) for whatever a manufacturer might need to use it for when it comes to production.


Whatever your manufacturing needs are, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) offers plenty of advantages with natural strength and lightness, natural transparency, resistance to water and being shatterproof. For those reasons and many others, it can be described as the perfect manufacturing material and a good source of income for an industrial plastic distributor, plastic resin distributors or plastic resin suppliers.


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