There is a Japanese-made katakana expression PET bottle, which refers to plastic bottles. More than 10 or 15 years ago, the NHK English show taught that "PET bottle" is a katakana expression and should be expressed as plastic bottles in English. These days, however, some English speakers living in Japan say PET bottle is okay. Is PET bottle used as an English expression in English-speaking countries?


PET is a standard abbreviation for a particular type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate. It is used when sorting plastic items for recycling, but in everyday conversation I think most people would call it a 'plastic bottle'.

  • Thank you! I see. So, is it okay to think that English speakers distinguish using PET bottles and plastic bottles according to the context? Daily conversation or recycling. – tak May 5 at 8:09
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    The codes for different types of plastic are PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE and PP, but we wouldn't use those in conversation unless we were actually talking about recycling. – Kate Bunting May 5 at 8:22
  • PET bottles are one kind of plastic bottle. – Michael Harvey May 5 at 9:33
  • Anybody who doubts the usefulness of this answer should watch Episode 2 of the first series of Breaking Bad. There was never a more graphic lesson. – Ronald Sole May 5 at 19:24

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