A Simple Guide to Buying Plastic Bottles
Since there are tons of plastic bottles available in the market, the wide variety makes it much more difficult to buy the best one according to your needs. They come in different sizes and shapes, and each has its own set of unique features. If you want to know about all the different things that need to be considered to make the best decision, read on.
What are plastic bottles?
A plastic container is a jar made of high- or low-density plastic. Plastic containers are regularly used to store liquids, such as water, soft drinks, motor oil, cooking oil, medicines, cleaners, milk, and ink.
The size of these units ranges from extremely small containers to huge jugs. These containers can have molded handles or be shaped to facilitate grip. The biggest advantage of plastic jars over glass containers is that they offer protection against breakage during the manufacturing and shipping process.
How are they made?
The manufacture of plastic containers is carried out in several stages. Commonly, plastic jugs used to hold consumable water and different beverages are produced using polyethylene terephthalate (PET), as the material is solid and lightweight.
Polyethylene (PE) has a high thickness, which is why it is used to make plastic containers that do not bend, such as cleaning bottles and squeeze bottles. Polypropylene (PP) is used for pill bottles, etc.
Polycarbonate (PC) is used for refillable water bottles and similar reusable containers. To understand the manufacturing process, it is helpful to initially understand PET, PE, PP, and PC compositions and how these materials affect the manufacture of plastic bottles.
The main phase of a regular 2-stage Reheat Blown Machine (RBM) bottle production process is known as injection molding. The plastic granules are plasticized in the barrel of an injection forming machine where the plastic softens with heat. The plastic is then infused into multi-cavity molds where it assumes the shape of long, thin tubes.
When the bottle (or, in constant manufacturing, bottles) cools down and takes on a certain shape, it is removed from the mold. The plastic bottles are then prepared for transport or filling.
Types of plastic materials used
Before you go ahead and make a decision, we suggest that you consider the types of materials used to make plastic bottles. Below are some of the common materials that manufacturers use for this purpose.
PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
Polyethylene terephthalate is a thermoplastic polymer that can be opaque or transparent depending on the composition of the material. Also, with most plastics, PET is created from petroleum hydrocarbons. To produce plastic bottles, PET is first polymerized to form long molecular chains.
When the plastic itself has been manufactured, the bottle-making process can begin. To ensure PET is suitable for use, several post-manufacturing tests are performed to ensure that the packaging is impervious to carbon dioxide.
Apart from this, different variables such as transparency, gloss, tear strength, thickness and pressure resistance are also monitored.
Low and high density polyethylene
Another thermoplastic polyethylene is used to assemble blow molded milk and water containers, cleaning bottles, ketchup bottles, etc. Both LDPE and HDPE can be thermoformed, blow molded, infusion molded, etc. HDPE is used for some types of plastic bottles, as it has a higher rigidity.
Polypropylene is a typically opaque, low-density polymer with excellent thermoforming. For bottles, it competes very well with polyethylene and can be made transparent for transparent applications. Polypropylene cannot match the optical clarity of polymers, for example polycarbonate. However, it does a great job.
It is an expensive material compared to other polymers for making jugs. Therefore, the application of this material is restricted to very good quality reusable jars, such as baby bottles or those found in water coolers or in the laboratory.
The material has excellent optical properties and quality, making it suitable for bottles that must show their substance with the transparency of glass, but must have the ability to cope with routine mishandling.
Important things to keep in mind when buying plastic bottles
When choosing plastic jars, there are a couple of areas that you should focus on. This is particularly important for bottles that are used to store edible things. You must ensure that your bottles are sturdy and safe for your items.
Here are some important tips for choosing the best bottle for your needs.
BPA Free – Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an industrial chemical used to make plastic items. This chemical has been used since the 1960s. However, recent research has indicated that the substance can leach into food and liquids contained in affected plastics.
Clean Thoroughly – Be sure to check with the seller that the containers and jars are properly sterilized as the bottles go through different processes and places before they are done with you.
Personal inspection: Before purchasing, make sure the plastic bottle does not have any areas of mold marks or any other physical problems.
Packaging sizes: Plastic jars come in a variety of sizes ranging from sizes as small as 30ml to mid-range sizes of 500ml and 1000ml. So make sure you get the correct size according to what is going to be stored in them. For example, storing 1 glass of juice in a 1000ml container might not work better. Therefore, it can be recommended to get a 300ml container.
Types of Caps: Plastic bottles and jars come with a variety of caps. These mainly include flip caps, twist caps, and spray caps. Other containers can also be squeezed. All these lids are for storing different products in them. For example, it is best to store a thick liquid in a squeeze container, as it will be easier to handle.
Food to go
So you’re prepared to buy a plastic bottle, but choosing the right bottle shape and size can be overwhelming. There are a myriad of factors to consider and not all containers are suitable for what you need them to be. Therefore, we suggest that you consider this guide before placing your order.