Hi Jonno (salamat pagi!)
I lived (worked) in Indonesia for two years and yes you are very right....there are mineral water bottles EVERWHERE!
From my own experience, i dont think there is any limit as to how many times the bottles can be recycled for as long as the quality of bottle is not effecting the quality of its contents (water) and that can only be checked in a laboratory. The is why good companies maintain reference samples to carry out test on aging bottles that have recycled a myriad times.
I did not come across any PC bottles however and i dont think it is 'feaisble' to pack mineral water in PC bottles due to its cost. PC is expensive than PET by 5-6 times!!! and any thing that is not adding value to the product....must be stopped
You asked what is the difference between PC and ABS bottle?
Not going into the technical side of it:
- PC is 5-6 times expensive than PET
- PC is much tougher than PET.
- Processing PC is difficult than processing PET
I have seen many Thermofored glasses in Indonesia (100-150-250 ml). Now these are nither PET nor PC. They are made of PP and are the cheapest of all materials.
Any process that does'nt add value to your product...stop it!