Demystifying PETG - How does it differ from PET and can you recycle it?

Demystifying PETG - How does it differ from PET and can you recycle it?

What is the difference between PET and PETG? In this blog we will drill down into the basics of the two polymers and their effects on the environment.

What is PETE (or PET)?

PETE is the most common variation of the thermoplastic polymer resin. The clarity of PET is considered to be the best of all plastics with very good chemical resistance.

What is PETG?

PETG stands for polyethylene terephthalate glycol, which is a thermoplastic polyester that provides significant chemical resistance, durability, and excellent formability for manufacturing.

So, how are PET and PETG different?

Although these compounds look similar, they are fundamentally different materials on a molecular level. PET is the result of two monomers combining. PETG may involve these same monomers, but also includes glycol, giving it different chemical properties than PET. This means that PETG has better shock resistance and is better suited to higher temperatures.

Explore PET packs

PET provides great clarity and often a glossy smooth finish, which is excellent for premium packaging - you can achieve some of the premium feel which glass provides, but without the extra weight.

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Recycled Products

You can see a range of products containing PCR (recycled) content, and this may help you to reduce the impact of the UK's Plastic Packaging Tax.

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What about recycling?

Sustainability is the fundamental difference between these products. Whilst PETG can be said to be “almost unbreakable, affordable and durable”, it actually falls into resin identification code 07 (mixed/other recycling) due to the processing requiring much higher temperatures than standard PET (PETE). This means that although it is recyclable, it is not widely recycled, therefore it is likely to end up at incineration or landfill.

Contrary to this, PET (resin identification code 01) is widely recycled in the UK through household recycling streams.