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Types of Reusable Plastic Drinkware

When it comes to high-volume restaurants, catering services, hospitals, and other busy institutions, reusable drinkware is a must! We take you through the different types of reusable plastic, so you can choose the perfect type of plastic drinkware for your needs.

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SAN Plastic Drinkware

SAN (styrene acrylonitrile) plastic is a type of plastic that generally contains around 70% styrene and 30% acrylonitrile. It is often used in place of polystyrene because it provides higher strength, rigidity, and chemical resistance than polystyrene. It is also resistant to boiling water. Although SAN items are considered dishwasher safe, when tested through 100 cycles, SAN plastic did show slight rim roughness. Below are some of the characteristics of SAN plastic.

  • Break resistant
  • BPA free
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack only)
  • Microwave safe (reheating or warming only)
  • Good scratch resistancy
  • Good glass-like clarity

Polycarbonate Plastic Drinkware

Polycarbonate tumbler
Polycarbonate is a type of plastic which has a uniquely high impact strength and exceptional clarity. It is often used for applications such as bulletproof windows and break-resistant lenses. Although polycarbonate has high impact resistance, it does have low scratch resistance and is prone to crazing. It also contains BPA. Below are some of the characteristics of polycarbonate plastic.

  • Virtually unbreakable
  • Contains BPA
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack only)
  • Microwave safe (reheating or warming only)
  • Better scratch resistancy than SAN
  • Better glass-like clarity than SAN

Tritan Plastic Drinkware

Tritan plastic wine glass
Tritan plastic has similar properties to polycarbonate but has a chemical resistance which maintains its integrity in environments where others may degrade. Products made from Tritan can have the look of glass but with higher impact strength, shatter resistance, and sustainability. Tritan plastics have a wide range of temperature limits, with most being able to handle beverages up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, some even up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Although Tritan plastic is considered the safest and highest quality plastic, it is also the most expensive. Below are some of the characteristics of tritan plastic.

  • Virtually unbreakable
  • BPA free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Microwave safe
  • Best scratch resistancy
  • Best glass-like clarity

Plastic Drinkware Uses

Plastic drinkware is a worthwhile investment for various types of establishments and events, from outdoor facilities to high-volume restaurants. Whether you need margarita glasses for an outside cabana or coffee mugs for a busy breakfast buffet, reusable plastic drinkware is a great solution for many occasions. Below we take you through other common uses for plastic drinkware.

Pink cocktail and a lime wedge in a plastic hurricane glass

Outdoor Uses

  • Poolside
  • Decks and patios
  • Outdoor eateries and bars
  • Pop-up restaurants

Because many outdoor facilities include beverage and food service, it is important to keep breakable glass away from pools and other outdoor areas. Glassware is typically not allowed near pools in order to prevent breakage in the water and possible injury. In order to bypass this rule, many outdoor areas and poolside venues are resorting to plastic drinkware. From margarita to martini glasses, a wide variety of drinkware is available to keep all types of outdoor establishments safe and injury-free.

Old fashioned cocktail with an orange slice in a plastic glass

High-Volume Establishments

  • Health facilities
  • School cafeterias
  • Workplace cafes
  • Institutions

When it comes to high-volume establishments such as school cafeterias, hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities, reusable plastic drinkware is ideal. When dishwasher use and break-resistance is a must, tumblers and mugs that have extremely high impact resistance (like polycarbonate) are very beneficial.

Milkshake in a plastic jar on top of a red checkered napkin

Family-Friendly Establishments

  • Day cares
  • Restaurants
  • Amusement parks

Some reusable plastic beverageware is BPA free and virtually unbreakable. For this reason, many facilities that cater to families and children will find opt for a health-aware option that will hold up to wear and tear.

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