What is Vimbela made of

What is a PET bottle made of?

PET bottles are made from a plastic called PET. There are many types of plastic, each with different properties. However, they all have one thing in common: They are made from crude oil.

Natural deposits of crude oil serve as the basis for the production of plastic. This contains so-called hydrocarbons, which serve as raw materials or basic building blocks for industry. Various processes are used to produce polymers, i.e. plastics, from hydrocarbons. You can imagine this process as if you pull many individual pearls on a thread and a long chain is created ("polymer" is made up of the Greek words poly = much and meros = part). In fact, polymers are long chains or threads that can then be processed further. Depending on which type or type of chemical substance is used at the beginning, the polymer has different properties in the end.

Examples of other known polymers that are used daily are nylon (clothes), polyethylene (fine, white shopping bags) or Teflon (non-stick coating in frying pans).

From polymer to bottle

The polymer produced is far from being a bottle at the moment. The plastic PET is first of all a misshapen mass consisting of long chains. This mass must now be brought into the shape of a bottle.

First, a so-called preform or PET blank is produced in a process called injection molding. The PET mass is liquefied and injected into a mold. When the PET blank has set, the stretch blow molding process continues. Here the blank is heated until it is viscous and placed on the shape of a PET bottle. Now the blank is stretched in length using a rod and pressure is applied with a valve so that the plastic is inflated and pressed against the walls of the mold. After cooling down, the finished PET bottle can be removed.

PET, a versatile plastic

The abbreviation PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic from the polyester family. PET is an extremely versatile plastic: In addition to beverage bottles, other food packaging as well as containers for medicines or cosmetic products are made from PET. Since PET can also be used to manufacture thin films and textile fibers, (recycled) PET can also be used to manufacture many other products, such as upholstered furniture, parachutes, tents and leisure jackets.

Recycling is important

Since PET - like most other plastics - is made from petroleum, it is important that we recycle this material. Because the natural oil deposits in the ground are not inexhaustible. If PET bottles are simply thrown in the normal garbage, nothing is produced in the incineration plant but gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2). No new products can be made from this, and it is also a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. If, on the other hand, the PET bottles are collected and melted so that new bottles can be made from the raw material, eight times less CO is generated2. When manufacturing new bottles from recycled PET, less CO is generated2 emitted than when burning disposable bottles.

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