Storing and Handling PET Bottles Properly

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Bottle storage conditions such as time, temperature, and humidity can have an effect on PET containers. The exposure and age of a sample can also affect the shrinkage, impact properties, and stress crack resistance of the container.

Storage Time
PET bottles should be used in a First In, First Out system to limit the time stored. Long term storage should be accomplished using a sealed polyethylene plastic bag or lined drums, totes, bins, Gaylord containers, supersacks or seabulks. The plastic liner will help prevent dust and dirt from entering the bottles.

Storage Temperature
Elevated storage temperatures (above 100°F/38°C) allow empty PET bottles to further shrink, mainly due to relaxation of the oriented and partially oriented regions of the bottle. Extreme temperature conditions (above 131°F/55°C) can cause severe distortion of the amorphous areas of the bottle, including the finish and neck. Moderate storage temperature should be provided to insure consistent bottle dimensions and properties.

Surface Contamination
Storage area should be kept clean, dry, dust, odor, insect, and rodent free. The storage area should be approved for food storage. PET bottles should not be stored in direct sunlight. Aromatic materials such as spices, solvents, ink, cleaning supplies, and disinfectants should not be stored in the same area as PET bottles.

Shipping Conditions
It is recommended when empty PET bottles are shipped to or through areas where outdoor temperatures may exceed 90°F/32°C a temperature controlled container or trailer capable of maintaining a temperature of 80°F/27°C or lower be used.

Need answers to your storage and handling questions? Call 610-367-5000 to speak with a knowledgeable team member.


The information and recommendations in this brochure are believed to be correct. However, no guarantee or warranty of any kind, express or implied, is made as to such information contained herein, including any warranty of fitness or merchant-ability, and Drug Plastics assumes no responsibilities for the results of use of the information described herein.

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