December 11, 2008

Plastic Bottle Preforms
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Nelly, our current CouchSurfing hostess, works for a bottle manufacturing company here in Plovdiv. Although she doesn't think much of the job, our conversation about it revealed a really interesting piece of information on how plastic bottles are produced.

Holding a plastic preform, a future bottle of wine

Nearly all plastic bottles start as a much smaller plastic bottle, called a preform. Since transporting a truck full of empty plastic bottles from the manufacturing plant would waste a tremendous amount of space, preforms can be thought of as something like a deflated balloon, ready to be blown up and filled at a bottling facility. The plastic preforms that Nelly deals with are typically used for wine and carbonated beverages in Bulgaria, and partially made from recycled materials.

The preforms are made out of a polymer called polyethylene terephthalate, commonly known as PET. When the preform is heated at a bottling plant, a gas is blown into the test tube of plastic, where it takes the shape of a mold.

The plastic preforms that she helps produce come with full-sized final threaded openings, and take standard plastic soda bottle tops.

Cool.

Comments:

The United States

Ellen

February 12th, 2009

During my time in Israel, I learned that it is common for campers/backpackers in the area to use the preforms as storage containers. They are basically unbreakable. They are waterproof and don't weigh too much. My friends would carry matches in them or even some olive oil to dip bread in during the breaks on our hikes. The preforms are pretty useful.

The United States

Dad

February 17th, 2009

Your uncle Roger has had many of these from his plastic bottling management job in the US, and has given a few away to us in the past. Didn't I give you one of these a few years ago?

Turkey

Craig | travelvice.com

February 17th, 2009

Nope!

The United States

PlasticBeachesStink

March 2nd, 2010

It is cool, except for what happens to it when it sits around for thousands of years, never goes away, gets ingested by sea life and destroys our oceans….then it is just sad.

The United States

a

March 18th, 2010

I've never seen wine in plastic bottles in BG. Must be a new stupid idea.

Bulgaria

Chris

April 1st, 2010

Weird.

My father actually owns a company producing those. What are the odds.

The United States

master chief

December 9th, 2010

@a what is your malfunction? @PlasticBeachesStink plastic better then glass to recycle

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