Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) is a general-purpose thermoplastic polymer which belongs to the polyester family of polymers. Polyester resins are known for their excellent combination of properties such as mechanical, thermal, chemical resistance as well as dimensional stability.

PET is one of the most recycled thermoplastic, and has the number "1" as its recycling symbol.

Molecular Structure of PET
Molecular Structure of Polyethylene Terephthalate
PET Chemical Formula: (C10H8O4)n

Recycled PET can be converted to fibers, fabrics, sheets for packaging and manufacturing automotive parts. Chemically, Polyethylene terephthalate is very much similar to Polybutylene Terephthalate.

PET is highly flexible, colorless and semi-crystalline resin in its natural state. Depending upon how it is processed, it can be semi-rigid to rigid. It shows good dimensional stability, resistance to impact, moisture, alcohols and solvents.

Commercially available PET grades include un-reinforced to glass reinforced, flame retardant and high flow materials for various engineering applications that typically require higher strength and or higher heat resistance. Addition of fillers like glass fibers, CNTs etc. help improve impact strength, surface finish, reduce warpage and several other benefits.

What are the main applications of PET?

Polyethylene Terephthalate is used in several packaging applications as mentioned below:

    • Because Polyethylene Terephthalate is an excellent water and moisture barrier material, plastic bottles made from PET are widely used for mineral water and carbonated soft drinks
    • Its high mechanical strength, makes Polyethylene Terephthalate films ideal for use in tape applications


Packaging Applications of PET
PET, a Material of Choice of Food Packaging Applications


  • Non-oriented PET sheet can be thermoformed to make packaging trays and blisters
  • Its chemical inertness, together with other physical properties, has made it particularly suitable for food packaging applications
  • Other packaging applications include rigid cosmetic jars, microwavable containers, transparent films, etc.