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The Lifecycle of a BOPET Film: From Production to Responsible Disposal

Packaging plays a crucial role in our everyday modern lives. You see them in stores, advertisements, online shops, and even in the kitchen of your own house. Good packaging safeguards products, keeping them fresh and secure from outside influences until the day you open them with your own hands.

As a flexible packaging material, BOPET (Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate) film excels in various applications. Its exceptional barrier properties shield food and beverages from moisture, oxygen, and contamination — extending shelf life and minimizing spoilage. But how did it go from raw materials to the thin, transparent sheets we know today?

A bag of fresh cherry tomatoes wrapped in plastic
azerbaijan stockers / Freepik

The BOPET Film’s Starting Point

The BOPET film begins with purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and ethylene glycol (MEG) combined using a method known as polymerization. Polymerization is a process that chemically combines small molecules into a large chain-like structure to make a product with certain unique physical properties. The molten materials are then extruded into a wide sheet, rapidly cooled, and stretched in both directions. This process will directly spin the molten mass into fibers or solidify later as plastic.

The biaxial orientation process allows the polymer chains to align lengthwise and widthwise in an orderly manner. This will reinforce its properties and achieve its signature strength, clarity, and barrier properties.

Rolls of plastic film in the factory storage room
Photo: PT Argha Karya Prima Industry Tbk

Responsible Consumption: How to Dispose BOPET Films

Consumers and the government play a vital role in disposing of PET materials. After serving its purpose, proper disposal of the PET film is at bay. Depending on the country, some PET films can be recycled in designated drop-off locations and are later reprocessed into new products using specialized machinery. Recycling facilities separate BOPET film from other materials and will then process them into new products. The process of recycling will also reduce reliance on virgin resources and minimize landfill waste.

If such methods do not exist in your country, there are also ways to reuse BOPET packaging. Some countries have found ways to empower societies by creating functional items using packaging made of PET, such as reusable shopping bags, unique decor, or functional flower pots. A recent low-tech solution is to make ecobricks using large PET bottles and cut-up PET packaging that are tightly packed into those bottles. Ecobricks can be made into functional furniture, as the basic foundation of large plant pots, and even sturdy structures for partitions and fences.

By understanding the lifecycle of BOPET film and making informed choices, we can contribute to a more sustainable future. Responsible production, responsible disposal, and informed consumption and all vital steps in ensuring BOPET film remains a valuable and environmentally conscious packaging solution.

Keep an eye out for manufacturers who use packaging films with sustainable means, such as a mono-material concept, which allows for an easier and faster recycling process after use. If you want to know more about sustainable means of producing film packaging, visit PT Argha Karya Prima Industry Tbk (


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