PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the world, used in packaging, textiles, automotive parts, and more. With its safe and hygienic material, many companies opt for the plastic because it is cost-efficient and can be used in a variety of ways. But what kind of effect does PET have on the environment?
There are many benefits to using PET plastic. Firstly, it is extremely versatile. It can be molded and formed into a wide range of shapes and sizes, like beverage bottles, food containers, clothing fibers, and more. It is also very lightweight, reducing transportation costs and energy consumption. Most importantly, though, PET is “made to be remade” (American Beverage Association).
According to the AmericanBeverage Association, once bottles are recycled, they are collected and make their way to a materials recovery facility. While there, they are separated from other plastics, cleaned, and ground up into rPET (recycled PET) pellets and used to make new bottles.
However, while PET plastic offers many benefits, it is vital to consider its environmental impact. Despite its recyclability, PET recycling rates vary globally, and in some places, recycling infrastructure is limited. This can lead to lots of PET plastics ending up in landfills, oceans, or turning into microplastics, contributing to the pollution problem already at hand. Additionally, the production requires fossil fuels as feedstock, leading to greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to climate change.
PET plastic has become an integral part of modern materials, offering versatility, lightweight nature, and recyclability. However, its environmental impact, particularly plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, may override the advantages. We should collectively promote recycling PET plastic and work towards a more sustainable solution because it will ensure a more sustainable future.