Wholesale Distributors of Plastic Bottles, Caps, Jars & Accessories

SAN Plastic

What is SAN Plastic?

The transparency of SAN makes it one of the few plastics that can be used in clear applications. It’s glass-like clarity, especially when coloured and the ease of printing onto its surface has allowed a number of applications especially in the kitchen for mixing bowls, basins and for cosmetic packaging.

What does SAN stand for?

Styrene Acrylonitrile resin, commonly shortened to SAN, is a copolymer of styrene and acrylonitrile, widely used in place of polystyrene owing to its greater thermal resistance.

The relative composition is typically between 70 and 80% by weight styrene and 20 to 30% acrylonitrile. Whilst larger acrylonitrile content improves mechanical properties and chemical resistance it does add a yellow tint to the normally transparent plastic, which is not ideal in some applications.

What is SAN plastic used for?

SAN plastic is rigid, transparent, tough, resistant to greases, stress cracking and crazing, easily processed and resistant to food stains, making it perfect for kitchen use.

Aside from mixing bowls, it is also used for tableware, cutlery, coffee filters and storage containers for food. Elsewhere in the home, SAN is used for toothbrushes and bathroom fittings due to its pleasing appearance when coloured.

The hard wearing properties of SAN plastic also make it an option for use in the office and industry for a wide range of products such as the outer covers of printers, calculators and lamps.


Made from a number of different resins SAN products are undesirable for recycling and are therefore coded with the resin identification code number "7" inside the universal recycling symbol.


At The Plastic Bottles Company we only stock a small range of SAN jars due to the difficulty in recycling this type of plastic. When suitable alternatives are available, our aim will be to phase out this type of plastic in favour of a more recyclable option.

We have a number of bottles and jars in our shop made from bioplastics or containing recycled plastics, making them exempt from the plastic tax (applicable from April 2022).

What is the Plastic Tax?

The Government has released a white paper detailing their efforts to combat virgin plastic use. This has resulted in the introduction of a plastic tax that will come into effect in April 2022. Suppliers and purchasers will be exempt from this tax if the recycled content for each product is 30% or more. Read more on our blog.

We have been working with our customers and suppliers to offer a wide range of recyclable and biodegradable plastics exempt from the Plastic Packaging Tax. Contact us to learn more and how you can make the switch.

Here to help!

If you need advice or are looking for a particular bottle or container that's not on the website, just ask. Even if we don't stock it we may be able to source it for you.

Telephone: (+44) 01229 588877 or 588468
© The Plastic Bottles Company 2018 - 2024. All rights reserved. GJD Solutions Limited t/a The Plastic Bottles Company, Unit 1F Cross Lane, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 9DQ. Registration: 07515596.