What plastic packaging is best for your new product? Should you use PET plastic or HDPE? If you Google this question, you’ll likely see a dozen answers, most of which all approach this from the manufacturer’s perspective. I’d like to suggest you take a slightly different approach. At BottleOne, we believe the consumer’s opinion is important to consider when making this decision.
If you keep the consumer at the forefront of your decisions, you will almost always be happy with the results. By staying on top of consumer trends, you can effectively predict your customer’s likes and dislikes. You can read more about this in 4 Consumer Trends Reshaping the Dairy Industry.
Most of the team members here at BottleOne have been in the beverage bottling industry for decades. Their extensive experience shows that consumers prefer PET plastic packaging above all others. In this article, I’m going to talk about 8 reasons PET is superior to HDPE. But here’s where this article is different from every other one you’ll find on this topic – we are going to address these reasons from the consumer’s perspective.
All Plastic Packaging Is Not Created Equal
We have watched the popularity of PET plastic rise since the ‘70s. We can tell you from firsthand experience, not all plastic packaging is created equal. PET plastic has unique qualities that consumers love. Many of these trends are continuing to grow, as the popularity of PET becomes more prevalent. Let’s get started on the list of 8 attributes of PET plastic that consumers crave.
1. PET Preserves Taste and Nutrition
PET preserves the taste and natural nutrition of milk. There are many factors that can influence taste and nutrition. These include light, oxygen, temperature and microorganisms. Products packaged in PET taste better than HDPE because PET retains the taste and nutrition by providing much better oxygen barrier properties (50 times higher than HDPE). You can read more about this on page 2 of this Virginia Tech Study.
2. PET Plastic Has Unsurpassed Clarity (The Optics Are Spectacular)
One of the biggest consumer trends at the moment is package clarity. Consumers want to see what they are buying. They care about this more now than ever before. There is excellent clarity in PET. It is a very clear material.
These benefits are easy to see when the container is full. The colors and textures are more vivid and vibrant. One customer said our gallon jug looks like an ice sculpture. This clarity is something consumers love.
3. PET Packaging Can Be Hermetically Sealed (No More Leaks)
Milk illustrates this point well, so let’s use that as our example. As a consumer, you’ve likely experienced leaky HDPE milk containers.
Whether you’ve seen the milk spilled in the dairy case at the supermarket, in your car or in your refrigerator – you’ve seen it leak through the cap. If milk is leaking out of the container, other contaminants might be getting into the container via the same pathway that milk is getting out.
The reason this happens is because those HDPE plastic milk jugs cannot be properly sealed. Now let’s think of a 2-liter bottle of soda. It is typically packaged in PET plastic, which allows a precision (hermetic) seal and ensures those containers don’t leak.
Unlike other plastics, the finish (top inch) of a PET bottle has a very tight dimensional tolerance, so you’re going to get a hermetically sealed package every time. This aspect of PET saves the consumer and the retailer a lot of worry and headache, not to mention the messes they’ll no longer have to clean up.
4. PET Is Safer (It’s Shatter Resistant)
Back in the early days of consumer packaging, most foods were packaged in glass. You probably remember what it was like when one of those glass bottles shattered. It created an unsafe environment for everyone.
PET plastic is safe. It’s durable, shatter resistant and the containers can be accidentally dropped without breakage. Another aspect of PET which affects safety is that PET resin does not contain BPA. It’s non-toxic. The resin and its associate compounds are biologically “inert” if ingested.
PET plastic is also scratch-resistant, which is something else consumers like. With PET, your customers will feel safe with your products in their homes and around their children.
5. PET Plastic Is 100% Recyclable (High Sustainability)
Recyclability and sustainability remain important consumer trends as people become more conscious of preserving our planet for future generations. PET is the world’s most recycled plastic.
The global shortage of recycled PET makes recycle code 1 the most valuable component of the plastics recycling stream. PET recycle code 1 is the only plastic with an existing circular economy.
BottleOne carries the PET recycle code 1 and therefore can be recycled back into itself (closed loop) ad infinitum. There are many companies willing to purchase recycled PET. The addition of major segments like the gallon and half gallon bottles into the PET circular economy cannot be overstated: volume, efficiency, scale and economics in recycling operations will be systemically enhanced.
BottleOne’s PET containers can be manufactured with up to 100% post-consumer recycled PET resin. PET has a very low carbon footprint and is a highly sustainable market material for the long term.
Consumers want to use a product that is good for the environment. They also want a product that is not going to end up in a landfill or incinerator. PET presents a positive environmental footprint.
6. PET Is Stronger (Yet Lighter Weight)
PET resin on its own has a high strength to weight ratio. The more PET resin stretches, the stronger it becomes. When PET is stretched in the blow molding process, it becomes very strong. It’s a lot stronger on a per weight basis when compared to other plastics. Traditionally, PET plastic is much stronger and lighter weight than HDPE.
BottleOne’s unique patented design adds to the inherent strength of PET, making it the strongest gallon bottle (of similar weight) available. Consumers love the strength and weight of PET. Also, from what we’ve seen, food and beverage companies, personal care companies and household products companies gravitate toward the usability of this type of container.
7. PET Offers Design Flexibility
Who doesn’t like a unique shaped plastic container? Because of PET’s design flexibility, you can offer consumers containers that are shaped to match your marketing.
PET allows you to create irregular shaped bottles and move them through the supply chain without them getting damaged. This, combined with the other PET factors on this list, accounts for the widespread adoption of PET over the last three decades.
8. PET Plastic is Economical
PET typically costs a little more than HDPE, but when you consider how much BottleOne’s PET saves throughout the entire supply chain (eliminates secondary packaging, less shipping costs, etc.) the economics of PET once again make sense. You can read more about that in the Cost Comparison between a BottleOne PET Bottle and an HDPE Jug.
But again, let’s steer this conversation back to the consumer. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for a product packaged in a sustainable container.
Earlier this year, Trivium Packaging and the Boston Consulting Group released their research which shows that 74% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product in environmentally-friendly packaging.
We’ve barely scratched the surface on all the reasons PET plastic packaging is the superior choice. At BottleOne, we are excited because our PET bottles provide a better package throughout the entire supply chain.
The integrated PET handle on our bottles is an innovation no one else has been able to create. This patented technology will revolutionize the dairy industry, but it has applications across many market segments. You can click over to BottleOne to read more about it.
If you’d like to discuss how our PET container and your product can be a winning combination, we’d love to speak with you. Please accept the invitation below and contact us.
Let us show you how BottleOne will improve your operating efficiencies and increase your profitability
BottleOne is an affordable large capacity, standard grade PET bottle with an integrated PET handle. BottleOne is designed to dramatically impact your supply chain. Let us introduce you to this 21st century operating model.