What is RPET Plastic?
Recycled PET or rPET is a recycled form of polyethylene terephthalate or PET, which is a polymer used widely to make affordable, durable, and recyclable containers and packaging and a form of polyester. PET and RPET can be identified by a #1 recycle ♻️ code on the product. RPET being a recyclable material is used as a way to help combat the dangers of single-use plastics. PET and RPET can both be recycled to take on a new life after their initial use and be made into new products. Since its creation, RPET has become a safe alternative used to create a wide range of products including lids, cups, containers, bottles, or even clothes like sportswear and activewear!
The Benefits of RPET Plastic
The main benefit of RPET plastic is that it offers products additional uses when they otherwise would have been harmfully disposed of. All RPET products can be easily identified by their distinctive “#1” recycling label, and this identifier can be found all across North America.
Another benefit of RPET is the drastic decrease in energy consumption it takes to it compared to its PET counterpart. On average, creating a plastic water bottle from completely recycled materials uses 75% less energy. Because of this, there is a twofold benefit that positively reduces the threat of landfills and air pollutants.
What happens after RPET is recycled?
Once a product with RPET is discarded into a recycling bin or facility, it’s taken to a PET recycling facility where it is washed and all contaminants are removed. Next, they are ground into flakes or pellets where they are sold as recycled PET that is used in the creation of clothes, carpets, bottles, and more. The process of PET plastic recycling has become streamlined since its creation, and there are now dedicated recycling centers in all 50 states.
Is RPET completely safe?
Although the recycling of RPET is a much safer process for the environment than the traditional disposal of PET, there are still risks to the environment that must be considered. When the synthetic fiber of RPET is washed, thousands of plastic particles can be released into the water, making their way into the ecosystems of many organisms.
Additionally, the process of melting RPET products produces organic compounds into the environment that can be threatening to wildlife that surrounds the respective recycling center. Carbon emissions are also released, meaning that it is not completely safe for the surrounding environment.
Because there are still downsides to the recycling of RPET, we recommend always composting when available. When products are not able to be composted, be sure to recycle your RPET products as the next-best way to not harm the environment with the products you discard.
What RPET products are good for takeout?
If you’re looking for some RPET products to use with your restaurant takeout, check out these options!
Cold Cups - The cups from Green Paper Products are made from at least 25% recycled plastic water bottles. They come in a range of sizes from 7oz small cups with no lid which is perfect for wine or cocktails to the 12oz, 16oz, 20oz & 24oz cups that offer a variety of lid options such as Flat Lids, Dome Lids and No-Hole Dome Lids.
Clamshells - Perfect for Grab-N-Go lunches, cold sandwiches, or any meal you want to shine through the clear container. You’ll find these come in Single Compartment, Medium 3-Compartment, or Large 3-Compartment sizes.
Hinged Deli Containers - These 8 oz, 12 oz, 16 oz, 24 oz, and 32 oz clear containers are perfect for chicken salads, potato salads, side dishes, baked goods, candy, nuts, and all sorts of other items.