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All About PVC

What are PVC Bottles?

When it comes to plastic bottles, there are a wide array of different materials. Each has its own unique properties and are suited to different industries, uses and products. As a proudly South African Plastics Bottle Manufacturer, B&I Polycontainers typically offers our clients a selection of five different types of material to choose from:

Today, we will be talking about PVC, very rigid yet resistant bottles available on the market.

What is PVC?

PVC, more formally known as Polyvinyl chloride, is the world’s third-most widely produced plastic, and one of the longest-serving. First synthesized in 1872 by German chemist Eugen Baumann, PVC has found a use for piping, window frames, medical products, wire and cable insulation, flooring, flexible packaging and more.

Of course, PVC is also used for making plastic bottles. Some of the properties of PVC plastic bottles are:

  • High Impact Strength
  • Brilliant Clarity
  • Excellent Processing Performance
  • Good resistance to Grease, Oil and Chemicals


PVC is also one of the least expensive plastics, making it widely used in many industries today. PVC Plastic Bottles are an excellent choice for salad dressings, mineral oil, and vinegar, and frequently used for shampoos and cosmetic products.

How are PVC bottles made?

PVC plastic bottles are most commonly used in blow-moulding. 

After the resin is melted and any additional colour pigments are added, the molten plastic is extruded through a metallic nozzle. After this, a mould clasps down on the plastic and high-pressured air is blown through the top of the mould. This creates a hollowed-out shape according to the specifications of the bottle. The bottle is then pushed out of the machine, and the operator cuts and trims the finished product to specification.

Due to the high resistance to chemical compounds and other liquids, PVC plastic bottles are well suited to be used in the pharmaceutical, automotive, chemical and cosmetic industries.

What are the Advantages of PVC?

  1. PVC bottles are readily available and extremely cost-effective.
  2. PVC bottles can be made with a wide array of colours and can have clarity only bested by PET.
  3. PVC bottles are very resistant to absorbing moisture.
  4. PVC bottles have a good chemical resistance over a wide range of bases and acids.
  5. PVC bottles have great impact strength.

What are the Disadvantages of PVC?

  1. PVC bottles are susceptible to UV degradation.
  2. PVC bottles have poor resistance to chlorinated solvents and aromatics.
  3. PVC bottles are highly flammable.
  4. PVC bottles are likely to become brittle from exposure to the cold.


Order your own PVC Plastic Bottles

PVC plastic bottles are a great option for any company looking for an inexpensive yet effective plastic packaging option. With such a wide application and cross-industry use, it’s no wonder why this long-serving plastic is still an option for companies today. What do you think about PVC? Was this blog helpful? Feel free to contact us and let us know what you’re thinking. We’d love to hear from you.

If you’re interested in creating your own PVC plastic bottles, contact B&I Polycontainers today. We’re an expert on PVC bottle creation and packaging. As a proudly South African plastic bottle and packaging manufacturer, we can provide high-quality PVC plastic bottles for any industry, as well as HDPE, Polyprop, and more. If you would like to know more about plastic bottles, feel free to drop in for a full tour of our factory.

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All about HDPE Bottles

We recently acquired a new blow moulding machine that can produce HDPE bottles. So, to continue our All About series, we’re talking about HDPE this month. Similar to PET, HDPE is a safe-to-use plastic that is mostly used for containers, bottles, and pipes. 

Let’s take a closer look at HDPE.


What is HDPE?

HDPE stands for High-Density Polyethylene. HDPE is also known as “alkathene” or “polythene”, but these terms are mostly used for when HDPE is made into pipes. 

Polyethylene, the base ingredient used to make HDPE, is a thermoplastic that is both lightweight and durable. The process to make polyethylene was developed by Karl Ziegler and Giulio Natta back in the 1950s. HDPE is a super versatile plastic and is the most commonly recycled form of plastic. 


Advantages of HDPE


Due to its higher density compared to other plastics, HDPE is highly crack resistant, has a high impact point, and an impressive melting point of 130.8 °C. This means that while it is strong and stiff, it is also able to resist warping from high temperatures. HDPE is also water-proof and is resistant against solvents such as gentle oxidants, reducing agents, strong acids, and strong bases. 


HDPE does not contain Bisphenol A (better known as BPA) phthalates, heavy metals, or allergens. This is why it can be used for containing consumables such as milk or margarine. This also makes HDPE an ideal material for pharmaceutical plastic bottles.

Recycling and environmental impact

HDPE’s SPI (Society of Plastics Industry, now known as the Plastics Industry Association) Resin Identification code is 2. Did you know that just because an item has the triangular arrow symbol does not mean the item is recyclable? It’s actually the number inside the chasing arrows triangle, in this case, number 2, that dictates what type of plastic the bottle or container is and if it is recyclable. There are 7 identifying numbers in total, but we’ll cover that in another blog post.

HDPE is the most recycled type of plastic due to its versatility and durability. When recycled, it is commonly used for plastic lumber, which has a multitude of benefits over traditional wood when used for the correct circumstances. Recycled HDPE can also go through the same process to become a new container or bottle once again. At B&I, we mainly use virgin plastic to manufacture our HDPE bottles due to pharmaceutical industry compliance regulations, but we do use non-virgin material upon request or for plastic use outside of typical human consumption.


Disadvantages of HDPE


HDPE is highly flammable, making it unsuitable for environments where an open flame is present or where there is a high chance that the container will catch alight. 

Ultraviolet resistance 

HDPE has little to no UV resistance, and therefore containers should be stored out of the sun to protect the contents from UV damage. This makes HDPE bottles unsuitable for prolonged outdoor exposure.


Identifying HDPE

Chances are if you’ve used a hair product, ordered tablets from the pharmacy or even sat on a plastic piece of furniture, you’ve encountered HDPE.

HDPE is commonly used to make shampoo bottles, motor oil containers, margarine tubs, milk jugs, and water pipes. Due to the various moulding techniques, HDPE’s physical properties do vary. The most common physical appearance of HDPE is a matte, opaque white, with an almost wax-like texture. 


Find out more

B&I Polycontainers is a Proudly South African plastic bottle manufacturer and has decades of experience working with HDPE. 

Have you decided that HDPE is the best material for your bottling needs? Or are you still searching? Contact us for a personalised material and mould showcase, and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect material for your packaging needs. 


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Plastics – the unlikely hero in #CoronaLockdown?

The plastics industry, specifically plastic bottles and plastic bottle manufacturers have gotten a bad reputation in recent years. A lot of that bad reputation stems from uninformed social virtue signalling. However, when push comes to shove, plastic bottles seem to always come through, and no example is more prevalent than the recent Coronavirus outbreak in South Africa and the rest of the world.

Since the first case of the Coronavirus was reported in the country a few weeks ago, the plastics manufacturing industry has seen a dramatic increase in demand for products across the sector.

Let’s take a look into just how the plastics industry is helping to tackle the challenges of the Coronavirus and lockdown in South Africa and around the world.


Plastic containers ensure a longer shelf-life during the lockdown

Plastic containers extend shelf-life more than any other packaging material, which is extremely valuable during times where critical supplies of products and infrastructure are limited. 

With the lockdown now in full swing, consumers are encouraged to stock up on supplies and stay at home wherever possible to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in South Africa. 

Plastic containers such as plastic bottles are able to extend the shelflife of products such as food, water, medical supplies and more so that people at home can stay at home for longer.


Plastic packaging can be replaced faster than other materials

With panic buying from consumers around the world, products are being sold out faster than they can be produced. 

The demand for hand sanitisers, cleaning materials, groceries and more have reached a breaking point for manufacturers. The medical industry has seen a sharp increase in orders placed for IV bags, tubes, oxygen masks, gloves and protective gear and packaging for medicine.

Unlike other materials, plastics can be produced in huge quantities for less environmental and economical impact. The recycling of those plastics, which is now possible more than ever, further increases its sustainability. 

Only plastic products and plastic bottles can match the demand for items, and replenish them in time for consumers and patients. It gives us the best shot possible to help millions of people in need.


Plastic bottles can reach farther with fewer losses

One of the biggest challenges for any industry is transport. Many products from other materials like glass easily get damaged, lost or ruined in the process of transporting those goods from the manufacturer to the producer to a storefront.

Furthermore, during a pandemic such as the Coronavirus outbreak, transport and logistics have more extreme demands placed on it with medical products and produce needed to reach all corners of the country in a reliable, safe and hygienic way.

Plastic packaging is needed for products such as handwash, bleach, medicines, food and beverages. Thanks to plastics, these products are safely and hygienically transported to retailers with minimal losses. Moreover, because plastics are lighter than alternative packaging materials, it saves CO² emissions during the transportation process.


Plastics can keep the economy going 

The world is in a panic, and the economy is being hit the hardest. With the lockdown lasting three weeks and our recent downgrade to junk status by Moodys, the South African economy needs help. The plastics industry is one of the few industries in South Africa that makes sense for consumers and professionals locally, and can, for the most part, still compete with international influence.

Where previously many of the plastic products that now in high demand were imported from overseas, it is encouraging to see that local manufacturing is boosted and that the revenue does not leave South Africa.

This is critical to keep our employment rate and our economy going in our country. 


Save the day with Plastics

We here at B&I Polycontainers are proud to serve the public during the Coronavirus lockdown. As a proudly South African plastic bottle manufacturer, we are working night and day to get vital products on the shelf for consumers and medical practitioners alike to combat the virus both locally and internationally.

If you would like to find out more about plastics, check out the rest of our blog. If you would like to order your own plastic bottles, be sure to contact us and we’ll get back to you with a personal quote.

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How are plastic bottles made?

As a plastics bottle manufacturer, many new customers that approach us are interested in how plastic bottles are actually made. At B&I Polycontainers, we really enjoy taking these customers through our factory and showing them the entire process.

However, many people who do not visit us directly don’t have the time or demographical opportunity to visit us and check out how our factory actually turns plastic into plastic bottles for everyday use. That’s why this blog will explain exactly how our bottles are made in a very basic and easy to understand way.

If you would like a more detailed explanation and to see the bottle making process in action for yourself, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to give you a full tour of the process.

For now, let’s begin by taking a look at the plastic bottle making process.


STEP ONE – Raw Materials

Every plastic bottle you see begins life as a plastic pellet – or rather, hundreds of thousands of plastic pellets. These pellets are the resit derived from petroleum hydrocarbons. The supplier of these pellets creates long chains of plastic molecules through a process called polymerization, and then mixes the material with several chemical compounds. They cut the resin into small pellets and send it on to us. 

Sometimes, we mix the resin pellets with “regrind” – recycled plastic that has been reduced to flakes. Plastic loses some of its physical properties when repeatedly heated, so we often limit the amount of regrind we use, typically capping this ingredient at 10% of the total mix. Unless producing clear bottles, dyes are introduced to the mix as well.


STEP TWO – Heating and Compressing

This is where the production diverges a little based on whether we’re making PET bottles or other products.

PET bottles must first be made into a preform before we move onto the next step. Currently, this is taken care of by a third party who we then buy the preforms from. We then use the preform for the next step,
For other forms of plastic, we heat the pellets and regrind mix at temperatures of about 260 degrees Celsius. A screw inside the extruder compresses the mix and injects the nearly molten material into moulds. 


STEP THREE – Moulding, Cooling and Trimming

Finally, this molten mix is pushed down into the mould, which is compressed with extreme pressure and cooled. This forces the molten mix to become the basic form of a plastic container, but this blow molding process must happen quickly in order to maintain the bottle’s integrity and consistent shape.

The bottle must be cooled almost instantly or it will lose its shape when gravity causes it to creep downward in its malleable, heated state. Some manufacturers cool the bottle by circulating cold water or liquid nitrogen through the mould, while others elect to fill it with a shot of air at room temperature. The mold typically yields a clean bottle, but some flashing may occur at the bottle seams, where the two mould halves meet. If so, operators trim away the excess material and add it to the regrind.

In terms of PET bottles, the preforms are preheated and then blown to shape using compressed air.


STEP FOUR – Quality Control and Packaging

The above process is continued for each plastic bottle created, but that isn’t the end of the plastic bottle manufacturing process.

Quality control measures are conducted throughout the manufacturing process, and a final check is performed before the bottles are packed to specification, stamped and marked for storing.


See it first hand

While it is great to find out how plastic bottles are made, nothing can compare to seeing it first hand in the factory of its origin. From PET bottles to PVC, B&I Polycontainers makes thousands of bottles every day, and each of them undergoes the same rigorous process above.
If you’d like to see how a plastic bottle is produced first hand, contact B&I Polycontainers today and we’ll gladly give you a full tour of our factory. Alternatively, check out our products here, to find your ideal bottle today.

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Choosing the Right Plastic Bottle Mould

We’ve covered how we make plastic bottles in a previous blog post that you can check out here, but a big part of making a plastic bottle is the mould that shapes the plastic itself.

These moulds have a huge impact on the quality of the bottle, the scrap rate, the unit production price of each bottle and the speed of production for the plastic bottle. However, few people know about making a plastic mould and what about the mould that makes the bottle cheaper or of a better quality.

This blog post will briefly go into this and other questions surrounding moulds to help you better understand this vital aspect of plastic bottle production.


Own the mould, own the bottle

The first thing you have to do when creating your plastic bottle mould is decide on the design.

If you take a look at our generic bottles, you’ll notice that they can be purchased by anyone. Of course, the different companies will apply their own product, branding and labels to the bottle, but the shape itself will not be unique. 

In order for you to own the shape of a bottle, you have to produce and buy a plastic bottle mould. Whether you decide to keep the mould or let B&I Polycontainers hold the mould for you, no one else can use that bottle shape without your permission.

Different moulds are used for blow-moulding and injection-blow moulding. In addition to this, you can order in-mould labelling moulds that give the bottle a unique texture and look by melding the label into the plastic. In terms of price, injection blow moulding moulds are more expensive than regular blow-moulding moulds. If you would like to find out more about injection blow-moulds, contact us and we’ll be happy to help discover your needs.


While complex shapes and functions that are built into the mould will require some substantial capital investment, you’ll be able to design a truly unique bottle that you can use for your business.


More cavities, more production, more money

Once you have the design in place, it’s time to decide how many cavities you’d like in the mould itself. Cavities refer to how many bottle-shaped indents are located in the mould, which results in how many bottles you can make per machine cycle.

Usually, the lower the amount of cavities, the cheaper the mould – however, it’s important to note that the less amount of cavities a mould has, the more expensive each individual bottle will be. This is because the amount of bottles that are produced with a double cavity are two times the amount a single cavity will produce in the same amount of time.

The amount of cavities in a mould is one of the most influential aspects when estimating the price of a mould. Single cavity blowmoulds can be anywhere between R35 000.00 and R60 000.00, while double cavities and more go beyond the R80 000.00  mark.



The harder the steel, the longer it lasts

Moulds, like anything, have a lifetime. They’re often used under such extreme conditions and by such heavy-duty machines that they eventually wear out. This causes problems with the resulting plastic bottle such as bad split lines, deformation and more.

In order for your mould to have a long lifespan, you’ll want to use quality materials, or steel, to ensure it lasts. Examples of steel that can be used range from steel that doesn’t ensure a long lifespan, like H-13, typical pre-hardened mould steel like P-20 and finally quality mould steel like 420 Stainless Steel.

Of course, you will want to select the steel appropriate for the runtime of your plastic bottle project. The staff at B&I can help you establish which steel would be appropriate for your project.



The art is in the work

Different mould providers offer different levels of experience, and not every provider is made equally. 

Just as the materials, form and function of the mould contribute to the overall quality, so does the maker itself. There are many mould-makers in South Africa that you can approach with your design, as well as some international options – but ultimately, you pay for what you get.

If you would like guidance in finding the right mould-maker for your project, B&I Polycontainers has a contact list of approved providers who can help you with your specific needs. Contact B&I today and we’ll find the right fit for you.


Fit the Mould

Finding the right mould can be a lot of work and an expensive process. Many moulds vary from as inexpensive as R30 000.00 all the way into the hundreds of thousands. However, this process is important for anyone who would like to obtain their own unique plastic bottle.

If you would like to find out more information on this, or would just like some guidance in creating your own mould, contact B&I Polycontainers for assistance. We make thousands of bottles every day, and complete special orders for our customers around South Africa. Alternatively, check out our products here, to find your ideal generic bottle, today.

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What are PolyProp Bottles?

When it comes to plastic bottles, there are a wide array of materials to select from. As a proudly South African Plastics Bottle Manufacturer, B&I Polycontainers typically offers our clients a selection of five different types of material to choose from:

  • PVC
  • Polyprop
  • PET
  • HDPE
  • LDPE

Today, we will be talking about Polyprop, one of the more rigid, yet stable materials you can use to make a plastic bottle.

What is Polyprop?

Discovered by Italian scientists in the mid-1950s, polypropylene, or commonly referred to as polyprop, is surpassed in production volume only by polyethylene, discovered a couple decades earlier. Polypropylene’s unique chemical makeup reveals itself in its various superpowers (OK, characteristics):

  • It has a high melting point, so it’s used for many microwave containers;
  • It doesn’t react with water, detergents, acids, or bases, so it won’t break down easily;
  • It’s resistant to cracking and stress, even when flexed, so it’s used in lots of hinges;
  • It’s quite durable, so it withstands daily wear and tear.

Polypropylene’s characteristics make it ideal for tough, robust products ranging from protective car bumpers to life-saving medical tools to cold-weather gear. Plus it also can be engineered into a wide range of packaging that helps protect products we rely on every day, from medicine to yogurt to baby food.

In terms of plastic bottles, many chemical companies choose polyprop bottles to store their products. This is because it doesn’t break down easily or react with water, detergents, acids, or other bases.


How are Polyprop bottles made?

Polypropylene is a very useful plastic for injection molding as it is easy to mold despite its semi-crystalline nature, and flows very well because of its low melt viscosity. This property significantly enhances the rate at which you can fill up a mould with the material. Shrinkage in polypropylene is about 1-2% but can vary based on a number of factors, including holding pressure, holding time, melt temperature, mould wall thickness, mould temperature, and the percentage and type of additives.


What are the Advantages of Polypropylene?

  1. Polyprop bottles are readily available and relatively inexpensive.
  2. Polyprop bottles have high flexural strength.
  3. Polyprop bottles are very resistant to absorbing moisture.
  4. Polyprop bottles have a good chemical resistance over a wide range of bases and acids.
  5. Polyprop bottles have great impact strength.

What are the Disadvantages of Polypropylene?

  1. Polyprop bottles are susceptible to UV degradation.
  2. Polyprop bottles have poor resistance to chlorinated solvents and aromatics.
  3. Polyprop bottles are known to be difficult to paint as Polypropylene has poor bonding properties.
  4. Polyprop bottles are highly flammable.
  5. Polyprop bottles are susceptible to oxidation.


Order your own Polyprop Plastic Bottles

So there you have it – everything you need to know about Polyprop bottles and Polypropylene. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us and let us know what you’re thinking. We’d love to hear from you.

B&I Polycontainers is a plastic bottle and packaging manufacturer in South Africa, and is able to provide high quality Polyprop plastic bottles for any industry. If you would like to know more about Polyprop bottles, see production of the Polyprop bottles in action or order your own plastic Polyprop bottles, contact B&I Polycontainers today.


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What is the difference between Blow Moulding and Injection Moulding?

If you’ve been involved with plastic bottle production in South Africa or abroad, you’ve probably come across the term ‘blow moulding’ or ‘injection moulding’. Chances are, you’ve come across both and wondered to yourself “what’s the difference?”

While you can essentially use both to produce a plastic product, the process is very different, and oftentimes you will want to choose one process or the other for creating the product you want efficiently and effectively.

This blog post will explain the differences between blow moulding and injection moulding, and briefly highlight the advantages of each one. It will also suggest which of the two methods will be best depending on your own product and expectations.


Blow Moulding

Blow moulding is a process that dates back hundreds of years, and was the process first used to create glass bottles. It is designed to create high volume, one-piece hollow objects – think simple plastic bottles and containers. The process can create very uniformly, thin-walled containers and it can do it at a very economical rate.

The Process

With blow molding, a plastic tube is heated and filled with air until it essentially becomes a balloon of hot plastic called a “parison.” A mold is then clamped around this, trapping the plastic while air continues to fill the parison into the desired shape, dictated by the mould used.

The size of the machine and associated costs to produce a blow molded product is based on the weight of the plastic used to fill the mould.

The Product

Blow moulded products often have more design freedom because each mould half forms its own wall shape. However, it is important to choose the right producer when using blow moulding because variables such as wall thinning, air leaks, flash and streaks could create defects. Thus, quality control is an important part of the process, and the supplier must be qualified and trained to measure, monitor and improve the product as it is running in the factory.

Unique Advantages

  • The costs in blow molding are lower as compared to injection molding
  • Machinery costs are typically lower
  • One-piece construction – it can achieve shapes that injection molding cannot produce 


Injection Moulding

Injection moulding relies on a great deal of upfront engineering to develop detailed moulds. The process is designed for high-volume orders for projects that demand thousands or even millions of the same part. Items such as plastic bottle caps, small yet sturdy containers and machine parts are usually the domain of injection moulding.

The Process

In a nutshell, moulds are injected with liquid polymers at high temperatures under extreme pressure. The moulds are then cooled to release complete plastic parts. It is essential that each mould half has a high precision between the two, so that material flow is perfectly controlled. The most important part of injection moulding is creating the mould itself – once it is finalised, manufacturing can begin en-mass.

The Product

Unlike blow moulding, injection moulding has to have exact precision when aligning the two mould halves, which means that injection moulding does not offer the same design freedom as blow moulding. However, injection moulding is perfect for the mass production of singular plastic parts, and the product itself often provides no problems once the mould is finalised.


Unique Advantages

  • Detailed, highly engineered tooling with multi-cavity mold options
  • Precise, efficient processing for large volumes of small parts
  • Efficient material use and low scrap rates


What B&I Offers You

Here at B&I Polycontainers, we can offer you the best of both worlds.

As a proudly South African packaging producer, we run and operate both injection moulding and blow moulding for our customers, and we have a great business relationship with top-tier plastic moulding and tooling creators. 

If you would like to find out more about injection or blow moulding, or are looking for a supplier who can create the bottle of your dreams, contact B&I Polycontainers today.


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Is Glass or Plastic better for the environment?

Plastic – love it, hate it, recycle it or dump it, it is here to stay. The keyboard that I type this on and the chair I sit from are evident of this fact. However, when it comes to bottles and packaging, what are our options, really?

The two most commonly thought of options are plastic bottles and glass containers. Glass is usually thought of as the more environmentally friendly option, and a lot of people associate glass with quality, permanence and an overall better option for the public to use.

However, is this really the case? Is glass always better for us? 

Let’s examine the differences between glass and plastic, and their impact on the environment, ourselves and the economy in this blog post.


Glass VS Plastic – The Environment

The general consensus is that plastic is harming the environment to the point of no return. We have addressed this topic in detail in two other blog posts, but is glass any better?


Glass is more expensive to recycle

Because of the weight, nature and fragility of glass, it ends up being a lot more difficult to recycle glass than it is plastic. Thus, companies that attempt to do this often end up incurring a higher cost than companies that recycle plastic.


Glass takes twice as much energy to produce

If you’re concerned about fossil fuels, air pollution and waste byproducts, glass is not your friend. Plastic byproducts can be grinded into perfectly reusable bottles, pipes and furniture while the reusability of glass is much lower. This would not be a problem, except for the fact that glass takes twice as much energy to produce than plastic!


More pollution is created in the manufacture, shipping and recycling of glass

Glass is much heavier than plastic and requires more transport. Additionally, this means it leaves a much larger carbon footprint. In short, it’s better for companies and the environment to stick to plastic bottles where they can.


Glass creates more than 6 times the global warming gases than plastic

In its creation and production processes, glass ends up creating 6 times more global warming gasses than plastic. The fossil fuels required to generate the very high temperatures needed to manufacture glass are just one of the considerations. Transport, breakages and other issues contribute to this figure. 


Glass VS Plastic – The Economy


Glass costs more than plastic

Glass costs more on almost every front when it comes to production. It costs more to produce, ship and recycle than plastic.


Glass is more fragile than plastic

Compared to plastic, glass is extremely fragile, with a lot of glass production being broken, chipped or otherwise unusable. Plastic bottles are more reliable and sturdy than glass in production and in retail.


Glass becomes weaker after recycling

Plastic is easily recycled and repurposed. While glass may be recycled into other forms, it becomes weaker with each repurpose until it becomes unusable, leaving a lot of wasted potential for companies.


Glass VS Plastic – You

Plastic can be shaped more than glass

When it comes to colors, designs and shapes, plastic is the clear winner. Glass is a lot more frigid with shape and style than plastic, and plastic opens up a lot more opportunities for branding, conformity and easy identification than glass.


Plastic is not as dangerous as glass

A broken plastic bottle will never cause as much damage as a broken glass bottle, and is less likely to break in your house or in a store, causing a dangerous mess.


Plastic is more visible

Because plastic floats, typically stays in form, and is safe to pickup, it is easier for communities to notice and clean up plastic than it is glass pollution. Perhaps the visibility of plastic is the reason why it gets such a bad reputation for the environment.


Responsible Plastic

Clearly there are some products that definitely need glass, but plastic is much better for the environment in many cases. As a responsible plastics bottle manufacturer in South Africa, we encourage consumers to recycle their bottles or dispose of them in the proper way. Some of the actions consumers may take to be more responsible with their plastic disposal is to use the correct recycling bin, stay away from multi-material packaging and minimise single use plastics such as straws, cutlery and disposable packaging.

If you’d like to find out more about plastic, the environment or just how it’s made, contact B&I Polycontainers today or check out our other two blogs on the topic.

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Plastics and Recycling – Environmentally Friendly Usage

Plastic and plastic packaging has been at the forefront of the recycling and environmental preservation debate for as long as anyone can remember. The general narrative today is that plastics are damaging and destroying the environment due to careless littering, consumption and reliance on the material.

However, there is another side to the plastics argument that most people do not hear about, and while consumption, littering and plastic reliance must be dealt with responsibly, plastics have been a force for good as well when it comes to recycling. 

This blog post will give you the other side of the argument by exploring how plastics have historically benefited the environment through recycling and plastic timber products.


Recycling Is Industry Standard

As mentioned in our previous blog on plastics and the environment, B&I Polycontainers recycles their plastic byproducts and takes their environmental sustainability obligations to the country and society very seriously. Recycling byproducts and other waste material is company policy, and makes sense socially, ethically and financially. 

However, we have yet to speak in detail about where exactly these recycled plastic byproducts go, what they’re used for and why it’s actually helping the environment rather than negatively affecting it.

One of the most popular uses of recycled plastic that most people take for granted is the plastic timber industry.


The Deforestation Problem

When is the last time you heard the news talk about ‘deforestation’? Chances are, not very recently.

Deforestation occurs when humans (that’s us) harvest timber from natural forests. This drives the local wildlife and fauna closer to the brink of extinction as they rely on forests for their survival. Due to the sheer number of humans on the planet, growing trees in order to sustain the demand for timber is an unsustainable proposition, and many natural habitats have suffered as a result of uncontrolled deforestation.

Thankfully, this trend has been slowing down in recent years thanks to plastics and recycling.


Introducing Plastic Timber

If you take a moment to look around your house, garden and neighborhood you may be surprised to find many items that are made from recycled plastics instead of timber and other resources. 

Chairs, tables, benches, counters, toys, playgrounds and a multitude of other products that previously required a lot of timber now use recycled plastics instead. One of the major components of these recycled products is known as plastic timber.

Plastic timber is a product that is created to function similarly to actual timber and is used in the same manner for the same products. It is used across industries in both the commercial and civilian sectors, from outdoor decks to industrial pallets.

One such company that B&I Polycontainers works with for responsible, eco-friendly plastics production and recycling is Tufflex Plastics Products, who take in plastic bottle waste which they efficiently recycle into plastic timber. These products, which have a wide range of applications are more durable, long lasting and resistant to weather conditions than timber itself!


Here are a few benefits that plastic timber enjoys over regular timber


  • They do not absorb moisture and hence will not rot;
  • Are very UV resistant and can be left outside indefinitely;
  • Easy to clean with steam or high pressure;
  • Very robust and do not break or splinter easily;
  • Planks have to be screwed together unlike wooden ones which are often nailed – hence they are less prone to coming apart;
  • Items made from plastic timber are heavy and hence are not easy to steal;
  • Low fire risk as they do not burn easily; 
  • As they are not easy to burn they are also not taken as firewood;
  • Resistant to most fuels, oils, chemicals and salt water;
  • Beams or planks can be colour coded if necessary;
  • Do not harbour insects or other contaminants as the plastic is inert;
  • “Environmentally friendly” as they are made from recycled materials that would otherwise go to landfill


More About Tufflex


Tufflex Plastic Products is a focused plastics recycling business situated in Germiston on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The company processes both post-industrial and post-consumer polyolefin plastic waste, the latter being washed in a state-of-the-art German wash-plant before being converted into pellets for supply back into the converting industry.

In addition to normal recycling Tufflex also produces a comprehensive range of plastic timber which is used as a cost-effective alternative to wood in a variety of applications including furniture, pallets, fencing, dog kennels, dustbins and walkway decking. 


Plastic Bottle Production – The Responsible Way

By preserving our environment for the future, we help preserve the future for ourselves. 

As a responsible South African plastic bottle manufacturer, B&I recognises the environmental issues relating to production of plastic products, and has contracts with all major plastic recycling companies to ensure that the scrap is used in a responsible manner and not landfilled or just dumped into our environment.


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All About PET Bottles

If you’re involved with plastics on any level, you’ll have heard the term “PET” or “PET Bottle” at some point. That’s because when it comes to the plastics industry in South Africa and abroad, PET (or Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles are one of the most prominent and attractive bottles on the market. This begs the question, what is PET? What are its advantages, more importantly, and what can PET be useful for?

This blog post will answer these questions and more as we effectively, but briefly, describe PET bottles and their general uses. 


What is PET?

PET is an acronym for Polyethylene Terephthalate and it is best known as the clear plastic used for water and soda bottle containers – like 500ml and 2L plastic Coke bottles. As a raw material, PET is a petroleum-based product that is globally recognized as a safe, lightweight, and flexible material that is also 100% recyclable.

In fact, Both virgin and recycled PET can be used to package just about anything: water and soda bottles, food (including cakes, cut fruit, and salads), cosmetics, razors, and toys are just a few items. PET is also a common component found in fiber or fabric applications (such as carpeting, clothing, sleeping bags, and more), where it’s usually referred to as “polyester”. Because of the worldwide prevalence of this material, it has a high value and is particularly important to recycle. By taking purchased curbside collected bales of PET bottles and thermoforms and giving them a new life as thermoformed food and retail packages, Placon is helping to preserve petroleum and energy resources.


The Advantages of PET

Many businesses choose PET bottles for their packaging for a variety of reasons. Here are some of those reasons.

PET is aesthetically pleasing

PET is one of the very few plastics that has a clear appearance, similar to glass. For this reason, many companies choose PET to showcase their product, especially if the product has a distinctive coloration.

Examples of these products include paint tinters, spring water, soda and more.

PET is strong and shatterproof

Unlike glass and some other plastics, PET is strong and shatterproof, making transportation, store placement and user handling much easier and safer for the public. It is for this reason that many companies find PET an attractive alternative to some of the other plastic materials used to make bottles.

PET is lightweight

As a material, PET is very light. This makes it economical to produce, and easier to transport than other plastics, making PET reliable and cost-effective.

PET is non-reactive

PET is used to package pharmaceutical, food and hygiene products because it is a non-reactive material. This means that it does not react to or leak into the majority of commonly found chemicals, and thus is less likely to be damaged or compromised.


PET is very flexible

Unlike many plastics, PET bottles can be moulded and blown into attractive shapes and be able to withstand conditions that require flexibility. 


Identifying PET

As you can tell by the advantages listed above, PET is a highly sought-after plastic material for bottles as well as other containers. This means that PET is a suitable material for almost any industry. 

Simply take a look around you and you will likely find many containers, products and plastic bottles made from PET. Apart from the clear appearance of the container in question, you can tell if a product is PET by examining the bottom of the product for the 3 recycling arrows. If the number in the middle of those arrows is 1, you have a PET product in your hands.

Order your own PET Plastic Bottles

B&I Polycontainers is a plastic bottle and packaging manufacturer in South Africa, and is able to provide high quality PET plastic bottles for any industry. If you would like to know more about PET bottles, see production of the PET bottles in action or order your own plastic PET bottles, contact B&I Polycontainers today.

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