With reference to polyethylene terephthalate, the use of which is so widespread in our daily lives, consider the following statements:

  1. Its fibres can be blended with wool and cotton fibres to reinforce their properties.
  2. Containers made of it can be used to store any alcoholic beverage.
  3. Bottles made of it can be recycled into other products.
  4. Articles made of it can be easily disposed of by incineration without causing greenhouse gas emmisions.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 3

(b) 2 and 4

(c) 1 and 4

(d) 2 and 3

Explanation

The correct answer is (a) 1 and 3. Here’s an explanation for each statement:

  1. Its fibres can be blended with wool and cotton fibres to reinforce their properties. – This statement is correct. PET fibers are highly resistant to deformation and are often used in durable-press blends with other fibers such as rayon, wool, and cotton, reinforcing the inherent properties of those fibers while contributing to the fabric’s ability to recover from wrinkling.
  2. Containers made of it can be used to store any alcoholic beverage. – This statement is not entirely correct. While PET containers can be used for storing alcoholic beverages, they may not be suitable for all types of alcoholic beverages. PET bottles are commonly used for beer, wine, and spirits, offering glass-like clarity and shatter resistance. However, it is important to note that specific regulations and guidelines may apply to the use of PET containers for alcoholic beverages.
  3. Bottles made of it can be recycled into other products. – This statement is correct. PET is the most widely recycled plastic, and PET bottles can be recycled into various products, including fiber for clothing and carpets, fiberfill for soft furnishings and sleeping bags, pallet strapping, food and non-food bottles, and thermoformed packaging such as cups and take-out containers.
  4. Articles made of it can be easily disposed of by incineration without causing greenhouse gas emissions. – This statement is incorrect. While PET is a recyclable material, incineration of PET can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. A study comparing the global warming potential of PET and bio-based PEF bottles found that bio-based PEF would offer 50–74% lower life cycle GHG emission after one recycling trip compared to PET, depending on the waste management scenario.

Learn more

  • PET is a strong, stiff synthetic fiber and resin, and a member of the polyester family of polymers.
  • PET is spun into fibers for permanent-press fabrics and blow-molded into disposable beverage bottles.
  • PET fibers are used in various applications, including automobile tire yarns, conveyor belts and drive belts, reinforcement for fire hoses and garden hoses, and seat belts.
  • PET bottles are lightweight, strong, shatterproof, and 100% recyclable.
  • PET is approved as safe for contact with food and beverages.
  • The recycling process for PET bottles involves collection, sorting, processing, cleaning, and remanufacturing into new products.

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