PET in general use?

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Nov 16 04:51:12 UTC 2011

Thank you for this follow-up also.

Maybe the need to separate recyclables will push this into the domain of general use. AFAIK the labeling on plastic bottles is not adequate to make the type of plastic immediately obvious, though it is probably on there somewhere. Clear labeling is probably a requirement to make this a widespread word; otherwise, people will have to look more closely than it's worth before they can identify the bottle plastic type.

Here in Seattle, we put all plastic bottles in the recycle regardless of their make ( If non-PET plastic cannot be recycled, then it must be the case that the city's garbage vendor separates it out. If that style of recycling catches on, it could be a hindrance to popularizing this term.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Nov 15, 2011, at 1:21 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:

> Some drink-container-specific recycling bins--such as those installed at
> some schools, airports, etc.--are labeled "Glass, Aluminum, PET
> Bottles", or, possibly, a rearrangement that mentions both bottles and
> cans. Other bins just say "plastic", but that's problematic because not
> all numbered plastics are recyclable everywhere. According to Wiki, PET
> was patented in 1941 and PET bottle--in 1973.
>     VS-)
> On 11/15/2011 3:23 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> I first heard petto botoru (PET bottle) about twenty years ago in Japan, =
>> referring to the bottles made out of polyethylene terephthalate. In =
>> Japan, hard plastic is called purasuchikku (plastic) and soft plastic =
>> such as used for bags is called =E3=83=93=E3=83=8B=E3=83=BC=E3=83=AB =
>> (vinyl); as neither word for "plastic" is appropriate for plastic =
>> bottles, it seems PET was adopted.=20
>> When translating petto or PET to English, I therefore use "plastic."
>> I was surprised last night to find "PET bottles" listed as contents on =
>> the side of a Mr. Beer beer crafting kit.=20
>> I see that the word is used in community forums discussing their PET =
>> bottles:
>> =
>> c=3Dview&catid=3D8&id=3D186964
>> =
>> atid=3D8&id=3D188179
>> The OED has PET back to 1965, with another citation in 1991 (nothing on =
>> the AHD). The 1965 citation is chemical and the 1991 is garbage-related, =
>> so neither seem to be indicative of popular usage.=20
>> I don't imagine people latching onto PET soon for plastic Coke bottles, =
>> but at least the beer-crafting segment of the population is becoming =
>> acquainted with the term.

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