Materials: PET Explained

What is PET?


Type of Plastic

Material characteristics


PET based products include: APET, rPET, CPET, PETG and Bio-PET


Polyethylene Terephthalate


Widely recycled

APET, rPET and Bio-PET are 100% recyclable and collected by kerbside rubbish collections into household waste recycling facilities from the end user / consumer waste.

Charpak’s materials include up to 50% PCW (post consumer waste) and up to 25%
in-process scrap*.

Our Bio-PET is produced of a waste product from sugar cane that is converted to Ethanol to form the basis of a standard PET product. This means no fossil fuels are used to produce it. This product can be recycled straight back into standard PET.



Amorphous Polyethylene Terephthalate


Widely recycled

APET, is a type of PET and one of the best clear plastic materials for thermoformed packaging. 

APET is a highly shiny and transparent clear plastic packaging whose optimum use is on shelf display and visual merchandising in retail.

APET is best used for automotive, manufacturing solutions, DIY and household, transport and distribution, electronics, beauty and personal care and luxury gift packaging (non-food).


Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate

Widely recycled

rPET is super clean recycled food grade APET.

All Charpak’s rPET has full FDA/FSA food approval.

rPET has high transparency and perfect for visual merchandising on shelf in retail, with the added advantage of increasing shelf-life of perishable (and non-perishable) products. 

rPET uses a high percentage of post-consumer waste* with an ABA layer of Food Grade material which conforms with UK / EU approved food packaging regulations.

There are two methods of manufacturing rPET, both of which give rPET its certified food contact assurance:

·        10% outer layers (5% each layer) are made from Virgin APET, with the inner layer manufactured from a minimum of 50% post-consumer waste*.  Virgin rPET is therefore the only plastic which comes into contact with food products.

·        A min of 50% post-consumer waste* plus a max of 25% in-process** scrap is ‘super-cleaned’ and added to Virgin APET.

rPET is best used for cheese, dairy, ambient food, food-to-go, confectionery, cakes and desserts on-shelf packaging.



Crystalline Polyethylene Terephthalate


CPET is a PET generally used in microwaveable and ovenable packaging.

This is not available in Clear and will usually be produced in black and other colours.

Charpak can supply a standard version and also a NIR Black version (Near Infra-red detectable).

The NIR version is detectable by Material Recovery Facilities (MRF’s) and so is more readily recyclable.

CPET, as a type of PET is partially crystallised during the production process.  This process gives CPET an opaque finish. This partially crystalline structure provides a stronger, more durable, plastic than rPET. CPET provides a highly effective protective barrier against oxygen, water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

Products manufactured from CPET are suitable for temperature range of -40°C to +220°C.

CPET is best recommended for conventional freezer proof, ovenable and/or microwaveable products. 


Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol


PETG is also a type of PET with an addition of glycol.  The addition of Glycol removes the hazing effect seen during the heating of PET and prevents the undesirable crystallisation effect which causes standard PET to become brittle.

Products manufactured from PETG are clearer and more shock resistant; in addition to being easier to weld in the manufacturing sealing process.

PETG is supplied crystal clear or can be supplied with ‘Medical’ Blue Tint.

Gamma Radiation Sterilisation is used by the medical industry for plastics. Gamma rays pass through the plastic at relatively low temperatures, thoroughly sterilising the plastic.

The different types of PET have varying degrees of tolerance to the radiation and PETG is more stable allowing the products to be irradiated within the packaging.

For specialist materials enquiries please contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

*Post-consumer waste is directly from the consumer, principally from carbonated drink bottles.

** In-process scrap is plastic which is extracted from a manufacturing process. Charpak in-process scrap is the skeletal waste which is returned into the closed loop recycling scheme and not into landfill.