Restaurants, bars and caterers often use plastic glasses rather than traditional glass for durability and affordability. However, if you have shopped for plastic glassware you know that there are various types of plastics to choose from. So, what’s the difference?
Each type of plastic has its own characteristics. We’ve put together this simple guide to help you know what you’re getting when you choose one over the other to help you select the type of plastic you require.
This is a very durable, hard-wearing plastic and is used to make riot shields and crash helmets. It is often touted as unbreakable, and it’s close to that. Glasses made from polycarbonate are dishwasher save up to and beyond 500 washes. Because of this, these glasses are the recommended choice for use in nightclubs, bars and pubs. Polycarbonate glasses can also be recycled.
SAN, or Styrene Acrylonitrile, is a very hard and long lasting plastic, but it does crack when put under significant pressure. SAN glasses are dishwasher safe and are able to withstand the high temperature and chemicals in commercial dish machines. For this reason, glasses made of SAN are a good fit for restaurants as well as household use. San is also a recyclable material.
Polystyrene (PS) is a hard and somewhat brittle plastic that is used to make reusable, as well as disposable, plastic tumblers and glasses. One of the benefits of polystyrene is that it can be recycled.
Polypropylene (PP) is used in many different applications beyond food service. A thermoplastic polymer, you will find polypropylene in stationary, packaging, textiles as well as disposable plastic glasses. Polypropylene can be recycled just as polystyrene can be; however, polypropylene glasses are not reusable, where there are reusable polystyrene glasses.