February 2, 2023

What Is a Bottle?


A bottle is a rigid or semirigid container used to contain liquids, often with a stopper or cap. They can be made of a variety of materials, including glass and plastic.

Crude oil is an important resource for the manufacture of plastic bottles, a material that is also used in other products such as milk and soda. The oil is extracted from the earth through mining and drilling operations, then shipped to a refinery where it undergoes a process called distillation. This allows for the separation of different fractions of the crude oil, each one having a different structure of molecules.

The plastic used to make bottles is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This substance is a type of polymer that is chemically bonded together and can be molded into various shapes.

This substance is typically found in the United States and many other countries around the world, and is one of the most common types of plastics manufactured. PET is an organic polymer, meaning that it is created from a variety of renewable sources.

Bottle Shapes

The most common container shape is the bottle, a cylindrical vessel with an even bearing surface that forms a tight-fitting closure. The shape of a container can be determined by its overflow capacity, headspace, neck size, and finish design.

Usually, the overflow capacity of a bottle is the maximum amount that it can hold without being spilled on its way to the consumer. Headspace is the space above the contents of a bottle and below the neck opening, which may be important for some volatile substances to be safely contained. The neck is the portion of the container that joins the shoulder and base of the finish. The finish is shaped to fit a specific closure and has a threaded or screw-type seal that meshes with the overflow capacity of the bottle.


A raised lettering or design on the surface of a bottle that is formed by incising or engraving the inside mold surfaces. This is the most common way of decorating a bottle body and is often done on a stippled pattern. See plate below and the Bottle Body & Mold Seams page for more information.

Heel – The lower part of a bottle where the sidewall turns from vertical to horizontal. This part of a bottle is commonly called a “heel” and is sometimes given a stippled finish in the mold to mask scratches that can occur during handling.

Collar – A narrow and rounded portion of the upper surface of a two or more part finish, often seen on glass containers. The collar on a glass container is usually a stippled pattern, but it can also be engraved or incised to match the top of a label.

Rim – A relatively large, flat, and smooth portion of a finish, often seen on glass containers. This is also called a “lip” by some, though it is more correctly called the rim in most contexts.