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How to choose between virgin PET sheet and RPET sheet?

“Virgin PET” refers to sheets made from new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) raw materials, while “RPET” refers to sheets produced by recycling PET materials. There are several main differences between them:

Source of raw materials: Virgin PET comes from completely new raw materials, usually products from the petrochemical industry. RPET uses plastic waste recovered from used PET products and is made after purification treatment. May come from discarded plastic bottles, plastic packaging, etc.

Production costs: Generally speaking, the production cost of recycled PET materials is lower than that of new raw materials. Because the process of recycling materials can be cheaper than extracting new raw materials, and reduces the need for new resources.

Production process: The production process of Virgin PET sheets is relatively simple and usually includes: raw material preparation, polymerization reaction, spinning, stretching, cooling, slicing and other processes.

The production process of RPET sheets is more complicated. In addition to the basic production process, additional cleaning and purification processes are required to remove impurities and contaminants in plastic waste.

In terms of physical properties, the difference between Virgin PET sheet and RPET sheet is very small. Both have good mechanical strength, chemical resistance, heat resistance and barrier properties.

In terms of optical properties, Virgin PET sheets generally have slightly better transparency and gloss than RPET sheets. This is because the impurity content in Virgin PET material is lower.

Quality and performance: Virgin PET may theoretically have more stable and controllable performance because its quality is not affected by impurities or degradation during recycling. However, modern recycled PET production technology is quite mature, and RPET can also reach very high quality standards and can meet the needs of many applications.

Environmental impact: The production process of RPET sheets is more environmentally friendly because it can save petroleum resources and reduce waste emissions, promoting circular economy and sustainable development. Relatively speaking, Virgin PET requires more natural resources and may have a higher environmental impact in a life cycle analysis.

Application fields: Due to its excellent performance, Virgin PET sheets are widely used in food and beverage packaging, pharmaceutical packaging, electronic product parts, textiles and other fields.
RPET sheets are mainly used in non-food packaging fields, such as textiles, carpets, auto parts, etc.

Here’s a breakdown to help you choose between virgin PET sheet and RPET sheet:

Choose virgin PET sheet if the following conditions are met:

  • When high transparency and gloss are required: Virgin PET has slightly better transparency and gloss, making it ideal for displaying products such as food and beverages.
  • When applications involve food contact: Due to stricter regulations on recycled content, virgin PET is often better suited for direct food contact applications.
  • When chemical resistance is required: Both options are good, but depending on the specific chemical, virgin PET may have a slight advantage.

Choose RPET sheet if the following conditions are met:

  • Environmentally friendly and sustainable: RPET production uses less energy and reduces reliance on virgin materials, making it a more environmentally friendly choice.
  • When the requirements for transparency are not very high: RPET is suitable for many applications such as textiles, carpets and non-food packaging where slight variations can be tolerated.

If the application is not critical in terms of transparency, chemical resistance, or food contact, either virgin materials or RPET may be suitable.

PULIXIN is an excellent manufacturer of PET blister sheets in China. We provide virgin PET blister sheets and RPET blister sheets (RPET content percentage ranges from 30% to 100%). If you are looking for PET sheets, please contact us and we can customize suitable PET blister sheets for you according to your needs.