Plastic Bottles - Wholesale Plastic Bottles

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Plastic bottles & containers that are designed for packaging can be made from a variety of materials and can be fashioned into an almost unlimited array of shapes and sizes. The choice of plastic will vary based upon a specific packaging application or use. Typically, plastic bottles are used to package a range of liquids such as milk, water, soda, detergents, motor oil, shampoo, food products, and other materials that need a convenient and reliable storage medium.

What characteristics should I be aware of when purchasing a plastic bottle or container?

Plastic Bottle Styles

Below are the most common plastic bottle packaging styles offered by most manufacturers.

Below is a list of the most common plastic bottle resin materials and how they function within the plastic & packaging industry and in our society.

High Density Polyethylene - (HDPE Plastic Bottles & Containers)

HDPE is a naturally translucent and flexible material that can be classified in two groups.

The majority of plastic bottles utilize HDPE resins because they are inexpensive, impact & chemical resistant, and provide superior moisture barriers. HDPE is mostly used in the creation of milk and juice bottles but due to its chemical resistant properties, it can also be used to hold household chemicals and detergents. Pigmented or colored HDPE bottles have an enhanced fracture resistant property.

Contamination can be a problem for HDPE bottle recycling. The creation of quality recycled materials relies heavily on having as few contaminants as possible. Recycling for HDPE has increased as of late, with 24% being recycled. A larger percentage of recycled HDPE is used in the creation of new containers like soap and detergent bottles, which don't have to meet the same purity requirements as food containers. Recycled HDPE is also used to make pipes, lawn and garden products, film and sheet plastic, and plastic lumber.

Low Density Polyethylene - (LDPE Plastic Bottles & Containers)

Is comparable to HDPE in composition but more translucent. It is generally less rigid and chemically resistant than HDPE. Being a softer material, LDPE can be used for squeeze plastic bottles and other flexible applications like plastic film and grocery bags. LDPE is also used in the manufacturing of some flexible lids and bottles, as well as in wire and cable applications. LDPE is significantly more costly than HDPE.
LDPE plastic is also commonly recycled mostly from commercial sources like businesses that generate shrink-wrap, as well as many agricultural endeavors. Plastic shopping bags, which are made from LDPE, are frequently collected by grocery and drug stores for recycling. Includes Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE).

Polyethylene Terephthalate - (PET, PETE Plastic Bottles)

Is frequently used for plastic carbonated beverage and water bottles. PET is an acronym for polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic resin and a type of polyester. Manufacturers use PET plastic to package products because of its strength, thermo-stability and transparency. Customers choose PET because it is inexpensive, lightweight, resealable, shatter-resistant and recyclable. PET bottles are labeled with a resin identification code #1 PETE imprinted on or near the side or bottom of the container.

Over 1.4 billion pounds of PET plastic containers were collected and recycled in the United States in 2007 through hundreds of community recycling programs. Most recycled PET or (RPET) is processed and re-manufactured into a variety of new materials including polyester carpet fiber, T-shirt fabric, shoes, luggage, upholstery and new PET containers for both food and non-food products. Most recycled PET is used in carpet fiber and clothing, with Mohawk Carpets being one of the primary users. In spite of growing markets, PET bottle recycling has decreased to 19.8%.

Polyvinyl Chloride - (PVC Plastic Bottles)

Is naturally clear resin that is resistant to oils and provides an excellent barrier to most gases. Rigid PVC has excellent resistance to strong acids, bases, and to many organic solvents. PVC is also one of the least expensive plastics. PVC Plastic Bottles are an excellent choice for salad dressings, mineral oil, and vinegar. It is also frequently used for shampoos and cosmetic products.

Nearly half of the world's annual manufactured PVC resin is used for producing pipes for a range of industrial applications. PVC's light weight, high strength, and low reactivity make it particularly well-suited for this function.

Numerous reports provide data that support the claim that PVC plastic bottles threaten the PET recycling infrastructure and the continued progress of PET bottle recycling. There is no equipment available at this time that will remove 100% of PVC from PET plastic bottles. Since PVC's burn temperature is much lower than PET, the PVC will usually pollute or destroy the surrounding PET and damage the processing equipment. Removing PVC bottles is costly because they make up about 2% of the manufactured bottles in the US.

Polypropylene - (PP Plastic Bottles)

Is mainly used in the manufacturing of jars, food packaging, laboratory equipment, plastic caps/closures, and auto components. One key advantage of polypropylene is its stability when exposed to high temperatures. This quality allows Polypropylene to be filled with hot products and dishwasher safe food containers.

Polystyrene - (PS Plastic Bottles)

Is a clear and rigid economical plastic that is used in disposable cutlery, plastic models, CD and DVD cases, and smoke detector housings. Products made from Extruded polystyrene (XPS) can be found in packing materials, insulation, and foam drink cups.

Polystyrene is not easily recycled due to its light weight (especially if it's XPS). Polystyrene does not biodegrade, and is often an abundant pollution along beaches and waterways.

Recycling Plastic Bottles & Containers

Plastic bottle recycling has been assisted by the creation of The Plastic Bottle Material Code System. The symbol of three rotating arrows was designed to be easily read and recognized from any other marking on the container. Where this program is in place, these symbols are required to appear on all bottles 8 oz. and greater. Each symbol should also display a specific number that indicates the resin or material used to create the container. The number/material equivalents are below:

How Are Plastic Bottles Made?

There are basically four types of blow molding used in the production of plastic bottles, jugs, and jars. The four processes are: Extrusion Blow Molding, Injection Blow Molding, Single Stage Injection Stretch Blow Molding, and Reheat & Stretch blow molding.

Plastic Bottle Manufacturing - Extrusion Blow Molding

Extrusion blow molding is simplest form of blow molding. This process is performed by dropping a preheated hollow plastic tube from an extruder. The tube or parison is captured in a water cooled mold and then injected with air through the top of the bottle. As air is injected and the plastic extends to the wall of the mold it becomes rigid and holds its shape. This blow molding process allows for the construction of bottles in a wide range of materials, including: HDPE, LDPE, PP, PVC, PET, K Resin, and Polycarbonate. Extrusion blow molding also allows for a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and neck openings, as well as the production of handles.

Plastic Bottle Manufacturing - Injection Blow Molding

Injection blow molding involves injecting the hot plastic resin into a cavity where it encloses the blow stem. The injected resin is then carried to the next area on the machine, where it is blown up into the finished container using an extrusion blow molding process. Injection blow molding is generally suitable for smaller bottles and containers.

Plastic Bottle Manufacturing - Stretch Blow Molding

Stretch blow molding is a process that generates moderately lightweight bottles with increased impact and chemical resistance. It is usually used to create PET which is commonly found in water, juice, soda, and a range of other bottled products. There are two processes for stretch blow molded containers.

Single Stage Injection Stretch Blow Molding (ISBM) - Achieves the injection and blow processes within the same machine cycle. The technique begins by adding molten resin into a water cooled mold. Once the resin has solidified it is moved to the blow station where it is stretched, blown, and then moved again to be ejected. This process is used for larger volume production runs of bottles and jars.

Reheat & Stretch Blow Molding (RHB) - is the alternative stretch blow molding process. In this process, the preform is injection molded and then loaded into a blowing machine where the preform is reheated, transferred to the molding station, stretched, blown into a chilled mold to form the container and then ejected from the machine. Typically a preform can be blown into a variety of container shapes making the process versatile and cost effective. The RHB process is principally focused on PET.

What Type of Blow Molding to Use?

The choice of blow molding will be based upon the desired appearance, chemical resistance, impact resistance, tooling cost, production run size, and the optimal cost/benefit.

See the Articles Below Regarding The Risks & Benefits of using Plastic Bottles

FAQs: The Safety of Plastic Beverage Bottles

Plastic Bottles Release Potentially Harmful Chemical BPA

The Murky Truth About Leaching Plastic Bottles

Bisphenol A and Product Safety

The FDA on BPA (Bisphenal A) - Updated January 2010

Facts About Plastic Bottles

Plastic Bottles - Glass Bottles -

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Frequent Questions...

What are PET or PETE Plastic Bottles and there common uses?

What are HDPE Plastic Bottles and there common uses?

What are LDPE Plastic Bottles and there common uses?

What are Polypropylene (PP) Plastic Bottles and there common uses?

What are Polystyrene (PS) Plastic Bottles and there common uses?

What are PVC Plastic Bottles and there common uses?

What are Number 7 Plastic Bottles and there common uses?

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