Metal-insulated water bottles recently took the market by storm. Candy-colored and minimalist in style, the beverage container is all over social media and print ads worldwide. There’s no denying that it is an existing trend much revered by Gen Z. Unknown to the young generation of today, the hip and the fashionable crowd of the 1980s went gaga over PET bottles.

What exactly are PET bottles? Expert scientist and author of “History of the PET Bottle” Dr. Tom Brady talks about its rich history in a radio interview on Kate Delaney’s radio program America Tonight. Dr. Brady’s extensive knowledge as a senior scientist allowed him to share what he calls “a chance of a lifetime” through his informative book.

Who is Dr. Tom Brady?

Dr. Tom Brady founded Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI) in 1986 to continue developing and commercializing PET plastic containers. Before the formation of PTI, he worked for Owens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I) as its Vice President. His work primarily entails leading the technical projects for all O-I’s plastic products.

Now, PTI is an industry leader when it comes to PET packaging. It is known as a frontrunner in commercial sustainable packaging and strategies. Prominent brands trust Dr. Brady’s company to deliver relevant packaging solutions in today’s marketplace.

Dr. Brady’s Inspiration

The onset of the interview revolves around Dr. Tom Brady’s inspiration for writing his book. Dr. Brady took the opportunity to talk about his background as a plastic scientist in Illinois. Eventually, Dr. Brady and some of his colleagues were given a chance to help create an entirely new industry – to develop and commercialize PET bottles.

Dr. Brady explained that his experience and the improvement of the PET bottle is not a typical story from their industry. Instead, it is a historical story from a business point of view. Dr. Brady wants to capture and document the technology’s historical value by writing about it. He dedicates his book to his former colleagues.

The Past and the Present of the Plastics Industry

Kate Delaney asked Dr. Brady to differentiate the plastics industry today from when he started his career. Regarding packaging technology, Dr. Brady said, “In 1972, the only option for packaging carbonated beverages were glass and aluminum containers.”

He added that those containers were all either twelve ounces or smaller. Dr. Brady recalled how beverage companies told their package suppliers that they wanted to increase their revenues at that time. As a case in point, they were asking for family-size containers, which can’t be made cheaply or economically using glass or aluminum.

 “Today, of course, plastic dominates the beverage industry,” Dr. Brady said. Another difference Dr. Brady mentioned is that in 1972, recycling all packaging materials was not a significant factor. Today, recyclability and sustainability are at the forefront. “My company got the chance to make recycling happen,” Dr. Brady stated.

What’s More Inside “History of the PET Bottle?”

“Can you tell us a little bit more about the book?” Kate asked.

“This history of the PET bottle is as much a collection of the memories of those in industry and my PTI colleagues who created the history as… which is my memory,” Dr. Brady answered.

Dr. Brady went on to emphasize that he wrote the book to capture the memories of his colleagues. Readers may expect untold stories in the book. It is replete with special chapters written by former industry colleagues of Dr. Brady.

“I think this book is really the story of an industry. It’s not just the memories of me or any one person.” Dr. Brady explained that the collective memories embedded in his book make it unique.

Dr. Brady disclosed that the pandemic contributed significantly to the book’s creation. He has written three books, including his recently published book, which narrates the story of PTI.

“I want everybody to understand the story because it is a story that has impacted all of us,” Dr. Brady said. Dr. Brady wants the world to know the collective contributions of those who have been integral to the industry. He wants their words to live on through the memories and stories in his book. He also hopes his book will help shape the future of his company and the packaging industry itself. 

To gain an insightful perspective on the packaging industry, read Dr. Tom Brady’s fascinating book “History of the PET Bottle” today. It is available on Amazon.