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The thermoplastic (obsolete polyethylene, abbreviation PE) was discovered in 1898, but only since 1957 commercially used in large quantities, especially in pipelines for gas and water supply, for cable insulation and packaging materials. It is saturated hydrocarbon. With a share of around 30%, PE is the most widely produced plastic in the world. In addition to pure PE, the materials PE-LD, PE-LLD, PE-HD, PE-UHMW and PE-X are available in combination with other materials. PE embrittled from sunlight, but is from bacteria, Animals or plants not degraded. It therefore contributes to improper disposal as "plastic waste" to a high degree to environmental pollution.

In viticulture, PE films are used as sealing material in alternative applications closures as screw cap. Capsules and Zork, also for capsules and Bag-in-Boxes used. The polyester plastic PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) is used for the production of bottles (PET bottles), films and textile fibers. From the 1990s, even wines of simpler cut were bottled in PET bottles. Since the valid from 2009 EU wine market the use is now also for quality wines allowed. See also below PVC and PVDC,

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