Recycle Plastic: Reduce Waste And Increase Savings
Because it is so versatile, flexible and cheap to produce, plastic is the most used material in the world.
Many types of plastic, however, can be recycled and used to make new plastic. The following is a summary of the main types of plastic, their plastic recycling codes, and their ability to be recycled:
Type 1 Plastic – Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE)
Soft drink bottles, food and non-food containers. Standard beverage containers are easily recycled.
Type 2 Plastic – High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Bottles for beverages with a short shelf life, such as milk and juice. Also used for industrial chemicals and to manufacture grocery bags. Easily recycled.
Type 3 Plastic – Vinyl or Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Rigid PVC is used for bottles and packaging sheets, as well as pipes and fittings, carpet backing, and windows for the construction market. Flexible PVC is used in wire and cable insulation. Toxic and difficult to recycle.
Type 4 Plastic – Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Cable insulation and flexible bottles, as well as film applications such as bread bags, dry cleaning bags, stretch and shrink wrap. Also used extensively in manufacturing, tote bags, furniture, carpets and squeezable bottles. Most films and containers are easily recycled.
Type 5 Plastic – Polypropylene (PP)
Used for a variety of packaging and durable item applications including hot-fill liquids containers, pallet strapping, clothes hangers and automotive parts. Easily recycled in bulk quantities and repurposed.
Type 6 Plastic – Polystyrene (PS)
Also used for both packaging and durable items including foams. Applications include CD cases, clothes hangers, toys, automotive parts, shipping peanuts and other dunnage, disposable plates, cups and take-out containers. Foam-based items are difficult to recycle.
Type 7 Plastic – Others
This plastic recycling code indicates that the labeled item in question is made of a plastic other than the six listed above, or is made of more than one listed above. Many durable products are in this category.