What Is a Bottle?

A bottle is a container for holding liquids, usually with a neck and mouth. It may be made of glass or plastic. The term is also used for the contents of such a container, especially intoxicating beverages or medicines: a bottle of wine. The word is also used as slang for a failure or flop, as in “the show was a total bottle” (cockney rhyming slang), and for a naval reprimand: “you’ve got to be bottled up on your mettle after that bottle.”

Bottles are constructed from high-density or low-density plastic. Bottles made of high-density plastic can be recycled many times without losing their strength or quality, but lower-density plastic bottles are typically single-use containers. They can be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes.

The most common bottles are made of a material called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. This is a thermoplastic polymer, meaning that it can be made to mold into a wide range of different shapes and sizes, and it’s resistant to both chemicals and heat. It’s an excellent choice for water and soft drinks because it’s lightweight, durable, and transparent. It’s also safe for food and pharmaceutical products, and it doesn’t leak or dissolve when exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

High-density polyethylene is another type of plastic that can be used for making bottles. It’s also a thermoplastic polymer, and it has good chemical and thermal resistance as well as transparency. Like PET, it doesn’t leak or dissolve when exposed by sunlight. It can be recycled many times, but it isn’t as strong as PET and it doesn’t have the same clarity.

Low-density polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is a thermoplastic polymer that’s also commonly used to make water bottles. It has good tensile strength and abrasion resistance, but it doesn’t have the same transparency or resistance to light as PET. It isn’t considered to be biodegradable, so it needs to be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Other types of materials can be used to make bottles, including glass and aluminum. Glass is a popular choice because it’s durable, affordable, and attractive to consumers. It’s available in a variety of colors, and it can be decorated to add appeal. Glass can also be made to be returnable, which reduces the cost of disposal.

Bottles can be made of other kinds of materials, too, including styrene butadiene, which is also known as ABS. It’s a flexible material that can be molded into a variety of different shapes and is easy to clean. It’s a relatively expensive material to manufacture, though, and it can be difficult to recycle. It’s often mixed with other materials, such as rubber, to produce a bottle that’s more durable and inexpensive. It’s also a popular choice for making water and soda bottles because it’s tough and lightweight.