A Closer Look at Bio-PET
Trevor Noye, Senior Vice President – Medication Adherence & Andrew Wong, MEB, Senior Manager, Corporate Sustainability
Bio-PET. It’s a product we’ve been talking about a lot at Jones Healthcare Group, since we started transitioning our medication adherence packaging to this more sustainable bio-based plastic.
But what exactly is Bio-PET? And what makes it a sustainable option? Let’s take a closer look at how this plastic is made using natural waste products, what its chemical structure looks like, and how its structure makes it widely recyclable.
How is Bio-PET made?
Importantly, the plant-based resin in Bio-PET does not draw from the primary natural resource stream. Rather, Bio-PET uses the leftovers from sugar manufacturing. The sugar production process creates a sugar cane molasses by-product that would otherwise be waste – but instead, it’s fermented to produce bioethanol. The bioethanol then moves through a polymerization process to make Bio-PET resin.
What are the properties and structure of Bio-PET – and what does it all mean?
Bio-PET is medically approved and contains no BPAs, phthalates or other chemicals that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment.
As far as its structure, Bio-PET is chemically identical to virgin PET #1 plastic. This means it has all of the properties of PET including strong impact resistance, clarity and oxygen barrier properties, while withstanding temperatures up to 65°C.
In other words, Bio-PET is identical in every way to PET #1, but it’s made from 30% bio-based waste product instead.
Is Bio-PET recyclable?
Bio-PET is a widely recyclable plastic.
Bio-based plastics are chemically identical to fossil-fuel based plastics. This means they neither disrupt the recycling process, nor are they incompatible for recycling. On the other hand, degradable, oxodegradable or compostible plastics can be problematic to recycle.
Jones Healthcare is building circular design into its products and services, which means we are focusing on using highly recyclable plastics in our products that can be re-used again and again, like Bio-PET, versus single-use plastics.
What else do I need to know?
Comparing our Qube Pro Bio-PET adherence package to the standard adherence package made with PVC plastic, we see:
- 21% reduction in fossil fuel usage
- 41% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- 47% reduction in harmful human impact
- 12% more bio-renewable content
The bio-based content of Bio-PET is also certified with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its BioPreferred® program. This program aims to reduce reliance on petroleum, increase the use of renewable agricultural resources and reduce adverse environmental and health impacts.
All products and packaging by good natured® are listed in the USDA BioPreferred catalogue of certified bio-based products and materials.
For more questions on Bio-PET, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.