WHAT IS TRITAN?
And how does it compare to other plastics?
Plastics are hard to get away from. The truth of it is that plastic is an inexpensive product that is often more durable than the ‘environmentally friendly’ counterparts. Plastic makes your life easier, and when it’s reused and recycled, it’s even better.
There are many kinds of plastic, fit for different purposes. One of the most celebrated, is Tritan. You might have seen the name about but have not realised that it is actually a type of plastic.
The Eastman Group intorduce Tritan as an alternative to BPA plastics in 2008. Since then, it has grown to be a popular plastic for drink bottles and other kitchenware. It boasts many great qualities. How does Tritan compare to other plastics available, though? Is a Tritan drink bottle really better than any other? We’ve done the research to make sure you have all the information you need to decide if Tritan is the plastic for you.
This is what we’ve found.
What is Tritan?
Tritan is a copolyester. That means that a combination of diacids and diols (acids and chemicals) have been added to the base plastic. These additions lend their own properties to make the new material strong, clear and resistant to heat and chemical degradation.
Thanks to its strength and clarity, and other attributes listed below, Tritan is a favourite material for food and beverage containers. It is available globally and, in the world of promotional products, we see it most in the form of drink bottles.
According to Eastman, “while it has the looks and clarity of glass, [Tritan] won’t break when you drop it or toss it in the bottom of your backpack. It can take all the bumps and drops of daily life and even survive some of the not-so-typical stresses.” They say it will survive hiking trips and “even a few really long falls.”
Third-party and laboratory testing back these claims. Therefore, you can be confident that whatever your activity, a Tritan drink bottle will take whatever you throw at it.
What are Tritan’s Competitors?
Polycarbonate (PC) and Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) are Tritan’s main competitors. Popular in tableware, both PC and SAN are see-through, rigid plastics. They are glass alternatives that are cheaper, lighter and more heat resistant – better suited to the frequent and hard use of restaurants as re-usable drinkware.
PC is known for its tough but clear structure. It is commonly used for glasses lenses, machinery guards and LED light pipes. Manufacturers favour PC for its versatility and especially, its flexibility. It is easily shaped, even at room temperature, without cracking or breaking. Testing has proven that Polycarbonate is eight times stronger that PET and four times stronger than acrylic. It can be made to be literally bullet proof!
SAN was developed in the 1950s. You may have seen some of its early forms in the back of your grandmother’s kitchen cupboards in the form of food containers. It has impressive heat and solvent resistance, perfect for leftovers and washing up. Today, it is used in just about anything – from printer casings and cosmetics packaging to pens and insulated cups and bottles. In the promotional product industry, SAN takes colour exceptionally well and produces a crisp, durable print.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Polypropylene (PP) are other common plastics. They are inexpensive and lightweight, great for bottles and consumer goods. PET is a preferred plastic because of its food safety and recyclability. As a polyester, PET is easily recycled into clothes and headwear. You can enquire about Impact’s recycled PET apparel here.
PP is also recyclable, though not through curbside pickup. Its primary benefits are based in its impact and moisture resistance. PP is also used to make film for confectionery wrapping and clothing (known as polybags).
So, what makes Tritan stand out from these other types of plastic?
Tritan is BPA Free
What does that mean? What is BPA?
Bisphenol A (or BPA) is chemical used in plastics and resins to protect surfaces from deterioration. The issue with BPA starts when it seeps into food and drinks stored in BPA-coated containers. Rigorous testing has found that BPA can affect the brain and prostate health of fetuses, infants and children.
However, global health authorities report that there is no significant danger at the level to which we are commonly exposed. Still, the Australian government has been phasing out the use of BPA in baby products since 2010.
Polycarbonate is not BPA free.
Tritan is Strong
Tritan is impact, heat and chemical resistant. As such, it has exceptional dishwasher durability. That’s important for your employees or clients who will be using your branded Tritan products regularly.
According to the Plastics Technology Magazine:
“Testing revealed that under a 1% strain, PC often breaks after two to three dishwashing cycles in a residential dishwasher using a common household detergent. Under the same conditions, Tritan endures more than 250 cycles with no sign of crazing or breakage.”
Recent improvements to Tritan have increased that number to over one thousand cycles.
SAN matches Tritan in the dishwasher durability test, lasting for over one thousand cycles, as well. However, SAN (and PC) is prone to scratches and is not impact resistant. It is known to crack when dropped on a hard surface. While this is fine for tableware that is handled carefully, drink bottles are prone to knocking and dropping during activity.
SAN also loses out in the next category.
Tritan Has Crystal Clarity
As a substitute for glass, Tritan must be clear. While other plastics may discolour or turn murky after washes and use, Tritan boasts lasting clarity with ‘outstanding gloss.’ What makes Tritan so clear is the amount of light that can pass and reflect through it. This creates a crystal-like brilliance. Comparatively, both PC and SAN have been known to become cloudy over time and can stain.
Tritan is also odor and taste resistant, so your clients’ water won’t taste weird after a couple of weeks.
When you’re next looking for plastic drink bottles will Tritan be on your ‘must have’ list? Stronger than glass, better for your health and beautifully clear. Tritan makes a durable, attractive and easily branded product that will carry your brand well for years to come.
Contact our team and ask about what Tritan products we have available.