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What is the Difference Between PVC & PET Plastics?

If you’re browsing our selection of packaging products and can’t seem to figure out which plastic container is best for your needs, remember that not all plastics are the same. However, once you learn to tell them apart, finding the perfect one for you will be a piece of cake!

At Paper Mart, we’re dedicated to helping our customers find the perfect products for their needs. Read on to learn about the similarities, differences, and various uses of PVC and PET plastic.

Everything You Need to Know About PET Plastic

image02Polyethylene Terephthalate, also known as PET, is a strong, lightweight, shatter-resistant plastic resin commonly used to create thermoformed packaging designs. Featuring excellent clarity and the ability to take on colorants very well, it’s also great for helping people see your product.

PET provides a strong barrier against water vapor, dilute acids, gases, oils, alcohols, and most importantly, UV rays. These qualities make it perfect for creating food-safe containers, water bottles, packages for electronics, retail designs, and more.

Everything You Need to Know About PVC Plastic

image01Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, is the third most widely used plastic (behind PET and Polypropylene) and it shows some similarities to PET plastic right off the bat. PVC is designed to withstand harsh impacts and extreme temperatures, making it another durable, chemical resistant option for your plastic packaging needs. However, there are quite a few ways that it differs from PET and PP.

When it comes to aesthetics, PVC plastic offers slightly less clarity, sometimes even displaying a slight blue color, it’s less environmentally friendly because it requires a number of additives, and when it comes to its durability long-term, it doesn’t protect against outside elements nearly as well.

For example, PVC doesn’t provide a barrier from UV rays like PET does, and over time this exposure can cause the material to break down. While PVC was one of the first polymers used in food packaging applications, it is no longer ideal. However, it is still widely used for creating cables, roofing materials, flooring, high-shine faux leather, pipelines for the water and sewer industries, bags, pool toys, soaps, cleansers, and more.

The Take-Away

image00Ultimately, both plastics are well-suited for making durable, rigid clamshells that you can use to store and ship your goods. However, you should carefully consider the use intended for your container before choosing PET or PVC.

If you’re looking for a food-grade plastic container, PET plastic food containers at Paper Mart are the best option for you, but if all you need is a container to store your decorations, organize your office supplies, or put hard candy on display, our PVC containers are the right container for you.

Browse through our selection of PVC and PET plastic containers today at Paper Mart!


  1. Debbie Jaworowski May 15, 2021

    I am searching for a couch and chair clear covering because we have adopted a cat and even though he has a couple of cat scratch posts, he likes to scratch the couch and chairs. Would a PET covering be the best option or something else be better ?Getting rid of the kitty is not an option.

    • Hi Debbie! Congratulations on the new addition to your family! We love our own fur-babies and totally understand where you’re coming from. While PET plastics are known to be a strong, food-safe solution for packaging and containing items. When it comes to wrapping and protecting large items like furniture, the priority may be dependent less on the material and more on the overall thickness and flexibility of the plastic you’re using. For more personalized help, please give us a call at 800.745.8800, ext 2. Our Customer Care team is available Monday through Friday from 6:00AM – 5:00PM PST.

  2. Duncan Lamare November 15, 2019

    Is it possible to visually, or otherwise, tell the difference between PVC and PET blister shells when freshly made?

    • Gabrielle at Paper Mart November 20, 2019

      Hi Duncan! Excellent question! PVC and PET shells tend to have similar visual features. PET plastics are one the most widely used plastics for thermoforming while PVC plastics are created through suspension polymerization to produce a hard, rigid structure. To confirm you’re purchasing the best plastic containers for your items, feel free to reach out to us directly at 800.745.8800, ext. 2.

  3. chiruu k December 1, 2018

    good blog.

  4. rupesh August 30, 2018

    pvc does not catch fire on burning it whereas pet does

  5. Jeannette Bedros August 11, 2018

    I would like to package pads “sweat Guard” for the body and would like to design a plastic bag printed to hold the pads.
    I want to have an idea about price and price with design.
    Jeannette Bedros

  6. B.M Rabiul Islam August 11, 2018

    Rabiul here from Gazipur, Bangladesh
    I want kniw defferance betwine pet and pvc, I want to use PET sheet for garments woven shirt, So please advise me about pet, where i will get ?

    • Emily at Paper Mart August 13, 2018

      Hi Rabiul,
      Thank you for your message. Our team will be happy to help answer your questions. Please feel to reach us directly by calling (800)745-8800 M-F 6AM – 5PM PST or via live chat at the bottom right of Thank you again!

  7. Sajid May 6, 2018

    Sajid here from junagadh Gujarat
    I want kniw about pet and pvc scrap combination result.. Bcoes i making rope from both mixed material.. So please advise me about pet and pvc mix material useful or not..?

    • Emily at Paper Mart May 7, 2018

      Hello Sajid,
      Thank you for your comment. Our customer service team will be able to help advise you on your question. Please feel free to contact them directly at (800)745-8800 M-F 6AM – 5PM PST. Thank you again!

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