What is PET?
  • PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate
  • A polymer made from terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol
  • It is one the most common plastic resins used in the world
  • It is the most widely used plastic in the food and beverage industry for consumer goods.

How is a Virgin PET bottle made?
  • Natural gas and crude oil are extracted from Earth
  • Oil and Natural gas are heated and forged into a molten liquid
  • The Liquid material is spun into fiber for clothes or formed and hardened into rigid PET resin pellets
  • Pellets of virgin resin are melted, then pushed into steel mold and shaped into a “Preform” (little tube)
  • Injecting air into hot preform expands/stretches preform bottle into large consumer bottles (the process is called stretch blow molding)

How does PET become rPET?
  • When you put PET bottles and containers into the recycling bin, they are collected via curbside recycling schemes and then they are transferred to recycling facilities, also known as material reclamation facilities (MRFs)
  • The PET material is then sorted out from other recycled material and compacted into bales.
  • rPlanet Earth purchases the bales of post-consumer PET and puts the material through another rigorous sorting process, via the help of optical sorters, rPlanet Earth employees and even robotic AI.
  • Next, the PET material (at this point in the form of used bottles and containers) gets shredded into flake.
  • This Flake is then thoroughly cleaned, decontaminated and has its intrinsic viscosity boosted until the material meets and even exceeds the FDA’s requirements for direct food contact.
  • From this 100% post-consumer food grade PET, rPlanet Earth produces a range of packaging solutions, all of which being 100% recyclable by design.
  • Since rPlanet Earth’s unique vertical integration allows us to skip the pelletization phase, we are able to save a lot of energy from fossil fuels that would otherwise be used to re-heat and melt the PET pellets before molding.
  • This unique process allows rPlanet Earth to produce high quality recycled content packaging with the lowest carbon footprint, helping to close the loop on plastic packaging and create a circular economy for plastic material.
A plastic (r)PET container in the circular economy