PET explained


APET, rPET and Bio-PET are 100% recyclable plastics, and are collected in UK kerbside household rubbish waste collections.   PET is a recyclable and reusable plastic which can be super-cleaned to create a multi-use, and multi-reuse plastic from both post-consumer waste and post-industrial waste.  Clear and blue tint plastic bottles, plastic tubs and trays are recycled and, following super-cleaning and re-processing are reused to create rPET packaging and other products.


Charpak manufactures packaging using both Virgin PET and recycled (rPET) packaging.
Charpak’s rPET packaging contains a minimum of 50% PCW (post consumer waste) and up to 40% post industrial waste.


Charpak’s plastic waste is returned to re-processors to be super-cleaned and re-processed to create plastic sheet for reuse in new packaging.


99.8% of Charpak’s PET materials contain food grade recycled plastics.


Clear rPET is widely recycled throughout the UK and in household kerbside collections.  Clear rPET is also collected from other waste services such as local auhthority recycling centres.


Our Bio-PET is produced of a waste product from sugar cane that is converted to Ethanol to form the basis of a standard PET product. This means no fossil fuels are used to produce it. This product can be recycled straight back into standard PET.

Clear rPET plastic packaging

APET Amorphous Polyethylene Terephthalate


APET, is a type of PET and one of the best clear plastic materials for thermoformed packaging.


APET is highly shiny and transparent clear plastic packaging.  Its optimum use is for displaying food and non-food products on-shelf visual merchandising in retail.


APET is used for automotive, manufacturing solutions, DIY and household packaging, lightweight and protecting products through transport and distribution, protecting highly sensitive electronics and conductor products, beauty and cosmetics, and in luxury gift packaging (non-food).

RPET retail ready packaging

rPET Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate


rPET is a type of PET.  rPET is super clean recycled food grade approved APET.


All Charpak’s rPET has full FDA/FSA food approval.


rPET has high transparency and perfect for visual merchandising on shelf in retail, with the added advantage of increasing shelf-life of perishable (and non-perishable) products.  Clear rPET packaging showcases products with a high gloss, protective, and shatter-resistant packaging, and due to its’ protective properties also reduces food waste, recognised as keeping food fresher for longer.


rPET uses a high percentage of post-consumer waste* with an A-B-A layer of Food Grade material which conforms to UK / EU approved food packaging regulations.


There are two methods of manufacturing rPET, both of which give rPET its certified food contact assurance:


  • 10% outer layers (5% each layer) are made from Virgin APET, with the inner layer manufactured from a minimum of 50% post-consumer waste*. Virgin rPET is therefore the only plastic which comes into contact with food products.


  • A minimum of 50% post-consumer waste and up to 40% post-industrial waste is ‘super-cleaned’ and added to Virgin APET.


rPET is best used throughout the ambient and chilled food sectors, including cheese and dairy packaging, snacks and food-to-go, confectionery, cakes and desserts.  rPET is used in both manufacturing solutions for automated production lines, or hand-finished products, and on-shelf packaging in retail.

CPET Crystalline Polyethylene Terephthalate


CPET is a type of PET which is generally used for microwaveable and ovenable food packaging.  CPET’s crystalline properties means it is able to be moulded as part of the manufacturing processes, retaining its shape for later re-heating by end users.


CPET is partially crystallised during the plastic production process. This process gives CPET an opaque finish. This partially crystalline structure provides a stronger, more durable, plastic than rPET. CPET provides a highly effective protective barrier against oxygen, water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.


CPET is not available in clear material, and is usually be produced in black and other colours. Charpak can supply a standard version and also a NIR Black version (Near Infra-Red detectable). NIR CPET is detectable by Material Recovery Facilities (MRF’s) and so is more readily recyclable.


Products manufactured from CPET are suitable for temperature range of -40°C to +220°C.


CPET is best recommended for conventional freezer proof, ovenable and/or microwaveable products.

PETG Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol


PETG is also a type of PET with an addition of glycol. The addition of Glycol removes the hazing effect seen during the heating of PET and prevents the undesirable crystallisation effect which causes standard PET to become brittle.


Products manufactured from PETG are clearer and more shock resistant; in addition to being easier to weld in the manufacturing sealing process.


PETG is supplied crystal clear or can be supplied with ‘Medical’ Blue Tint.


Gamma Radiation Sterilisation is used by the medical industry for plastics. Gamma rays pass through the plastic at relatively low temperatures, thoroughly sterilising the plastic.


The different types of PET have varying degrees of tolerance to the radiation and PETG is more stable allowing the products to be irradiated within the packaging.

Black rPET Polyethylene Terephthalate 


Black rPET contains a minimum of 50% post-consumer waste and up to 40% post-industrial waste.


Charpak operates a closed-loop system to ensure black rPET waste goes back into our packaging products.


Black rPET whilst recyclable, is not widely recycled in the current UK waste infrastructure.  From early 2018 retailers and waste organisations have developed the first UK trials to recycle Black rPET.  Charpak strongly recommend the Government’s updated Waste Management Plan (in development at time of writing) commits increased investment in the provision of UK recycling solutions of Black rPET. 


Black rPET is manufactured from coloured PET and can be an effective multi-use and multi-reuse solution.   For more information please visit the FAQs section.


Products manufactured from black rPET include bases for cheese selection packaging, chocolate packaging and premium dessert packaging.

Coloured PET Polyethylene Terephthalate 


Coloured PET will nearly always be the basis of the post-consumer waste in black rPET.


Coloured PET is used for a variety of packaging products.  Examples of coloured packaging include gold, silver and bronze packaging, which is recyclable because it does not contain metal.  These coloured plastics are manufactured specifically for the food industry, with a gloss and shiny finish, approved for food contact. 


Charpak can match all colour pantone references to a client’s brand.  Minimum order quantities are required.


Widely recycled