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Plastic Types

  PET (1): Polyethylene terephthalate

PET is a very strong plastic that can be easily recognized for its transparent look - all water and soda bottles are made from PET as well as some jars, combs, bags, tote bags, carpets and ropes, and is recycled more commonly. Recently, PET has been recycled into yarns and made into clothes. 

Properties: lightweight, impact resistant, rigid/semi-rigid
Common uses: blow molded bottles (water bottles, soda/juice bottles), wrapping, film, electrical fittings

 

  HDPE (2): High-density polyethylene

HDPE is often used for food and drink containers, as well as milk bottles, motor oil, shampoo bottles, soap bottles, detergents, bleaches, toys and bottle caps. Products of this plastic types are often easier to collect sorted and clean.

Properties: inert, thermally stable, tough and high tensile strength
Common uses: pipes, toys, bowls, crates, packing film

  PVC (3): Polyvinyl chloride

PVC is toxic and we do not work with it, but we do find companies who can safely utilize it for their materials. It is most commonly found in plumbing pipes and releases chloride when heated up.

Properties: insulating, chemically inert
Common uses: Flexible: fake leather, seals, cable covers, tape. Rigid: pipes, building products, bottes, film, soles, heat-shrinking tubes

 

  LDPE (4): Low-density polyethylene

LDPE is largely used for plastic wrap, sandwich bags, squeezable bottles, and plastic grocery bags. Usually LDPE is not commonly recycled, as it is often not labeled, it’s too light and tends to be more difficult to clean, but works rather well with for recycled plastic manufacturers.

Properties: chemically inert, flexible, insulating
Common uses: bowls, lids, toys, containers, fim, squeeze bottles, pipes, bags, sheets

  PP (5): Polypropylene

PP is one of the most commonly available plastics on the market, it is strong and can usually withstand higher temperatures. PP has a wide variety of uses but is consistently used for products that get in contact with food and drink - tupperware, yoghurt boxes, syrup bottles, etc.

Properties: strong, rigid, temperature resistant
Common uses: structural parts, pipes, toys, chairs, kitchenware, DVD cases, packaging, films, textile, carpets, rope, netting

  PS (6): Polystyrene

PS is most commonly known as Styrofoam, but also appears in many more products. PS can be recycled, but not efficiently - recycling it takes a lot of energy which means that few places accept it. Disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes, plastic cutlery and packing foam are made from PS.

Properties: clear, glossy, hard, stiff
Common uses: Toys, CD cases, light diffusers, electric housings, cutlery

  MIX (7)

This code is used to identify other types of plastic that are not defined by the other six plastic types. Plastics such as. ABS, Acrylic or Polycarbonate are included in this category and can be difficult to recycle, however work with a local here in Denver who's able to put it to use. 

Properties: As this includes a lot of different plastic types, the properties can vary a lot. So, it depends which type of plastic it is. If you can identify then we can reuse it but if it's mixed, it's chaos.
Common uses:PC (CDs & DVDs…), PLA (bioplastics), ABS (3D-printing filament, toys, electronic products…), PMMA (acrylic glass)

 

Information courtesy of Precious Plastic: https://community.preciousplastic.com/academy/plastic/basics

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