how to indentify PET.
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How to identify PET?

 
      How to indentify PET? when it comes to material sorting, identification is of paramount importance. One single PVC bottle is all it takes to compromise the quality of a whole 300 Kg bale of collected post consumer PET!
Although sorting systems increasingly rely on x-ray recognition, hand sorting still intervenes in key stages. Indeed, the rejection of problematic bottles following the x-ray identification stage entails the elimination of perfectly good containers as well. Operators must then recognise the valuable PET, among others, from the discarded material, to put it back into the system. To secure the quality of the final product, the input material must be established beyond any possible doubt.

    Operators are not the only ones that must be capable of recognising PET. Thanks to its many qualities, amongst which unbreakability, lightweight and recyclability, PET is very much appreciated by consumers. It is only fair that he/she too be able to recognise the product he favours and trusts.
To illustrate the recoverable nature of a packaging, the American Society of Plastics Industry developed a design that has now become the standard: three arrows chasing one another. This symbol, coupled with the numbering system that identifies the nature of the material, allows the correct identification of PET.

    The numbering system in question associates plastics with the numbers from 1 to 19. More specifically, PET is connected to number 1.

    PET is also identifiable thanks to its characteristic trait: the "injection mould dot" borne on the bottom of all PET containers. This "trade mark" is due to the manufacture of preforms. The dot corresponds to the precise spot where resin is injected into the mould.

    The "close loop" logo and the numbering system are often imprinted on the bottle itself but they can also appear on the label of the container.

    It is the current European Parliament and Council directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (2004/12/EC) that requests packaging to be identified through the marking indicating its reusable or recoverable nature and the material identification number. Pursuant to this directive, the Commission decision 97/129/EC establishes the numbering and abbreviations on which the identification system is based, indicating the nature of the packaging materials used and specifying which materials shall be subject to the identification system.

    Given the very nature of a European Commission decision, the use of the proposed identification system remains voluntary at European level.

    At national level, some Member countries request specific compulsory marking. Italy for example, imposes PET containers to be clearly identified with the legal Italian symbol: the PET acronym inserted in a circle or a hexagon.This is end.

 
     
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