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 affects 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?
Commonly known as PETG, polyethylene terephthalate glycol, 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.
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 recycling 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 (recycling code 01) is widely recycled in the UK through household recycling streams.