If you are confused by all of the abbreviations that can be found on the bottom of takeaway containers & plastic cups, you are not alone. All consumers might like to learn the differences, but this is certainly the case if you are considering starting a business that will be using these types of plastic containers, especially takeaway containers for foods or drinks. Two of the most popular types of plastic used in these containers today are PET or Polyethylene terethalate and PP or Polypropylene. Although both types of plastic are recyclable and used often in the food industry, there are some important differences that you might want to consider.
If you are looking for clarity in the plastic you choose to use, then PET is the better choice over PP plastic containers. That's why many people who run food service businesses prefer the translucence of PET over the hazier PP plastic for their drink cups.
Another difference to consider in the plastic you choose for takeaway containers & plastic cups is the heat and cold resistance and fill temperatures between the two plastics. The fill temperature (the temperature of the food or drink that it is capable of holding) is a little higher in PP containers than in the PET containers. The fill temperature for PET containers is up to 71 degrees Celsius, while the fill temperature for PP containers is up to 80 degrees Celsius. The heat resistance (outside heat) is better in PP containers, while the cold resistance (outside cold) is better in PET containers than in PP containers.
PET plastic containers & disposable cups are slightly better than PP containers when it comes to impact resistance. This may or may not be important to you in your business, but it does demonstrate a higher degree of durability and is more crack resistant.
Since PET containers provide a better oxygen barrier than PP containers, they can preserve the taste and the aroma of food placed in them, but PP containers provide a better barrier to moisture as well as alcohol or chemicals. Both PET and PP containers work well to resist acids or grease and oils.
With so many great qualities to be found in both PET and PP plastic containers, it might be difficult to choose which type to use as takeaway containers or plastic cups for your food service business. Hopefully, by learning the differences between the two types of plastic containers it will help you to make an informed decision.