Skip to content


Types Of Plastics & Their Classifications

There are many different types of post consumer plastics like water bottles and containers that actually different types of plastic. The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) has established a system of classification for all plastic types.  Manufacturers place an SPI code on all plastic products.  Here is a basic outline of the different plastic types and codes.

Plastic marked with an SPI code of 1 is made with Polyethylene Terephthalate, which is also known as

plastic-water-bottles

PETE or PET. Containers made from this plastic sometimes absorb odors and flavors from foods and drinks that are stored in them. Items made from this plastic are commonly recycled. PETE plastic is used to make many

plastic-type-one

common household items like beverage bottles, medicine jars, peanut butter jars, combs, bean bags, and rope. Recycled PETE is used to make tote bags, carpet, fiberfill material in winter clothing, and more.

Plastic marked with an SPI code of 2 is made with High-Density Polyethylene, or HDPE. HDPE products are very safe and they are not known to transmit any chemicals into foods or drinks. HDPE products are commonly recycled. Items made from this plastic include containers for milk, motor oil,

plastic-milk-jugs

shampoos and conditioners, soap bottles, detergents, and bleaches. Many personalized toys are made from thisplastic-type-twoplastic as well. (Please note: it is NEVER safe to reuse an HDPE bottle as a food or drink container if it didn’t originally contain food or drink!) Recycled HDPE is used to make plastic crates, plastic lumber, fencing, and more.

 

 

 

Plastic labeled with an SPI code of 3 is made with Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC. PVC is not often recycled and it can be harmful if ingested. PVC is used for all kinds of pipes and tiles, but it’s most commonly plastic-tubing plastic-type-threefound in plumbing pipes. This kind of plastic should not come in contact with food items. Recycled PVC is used to make flooring, mobile home skirting, and more.

 

 

 

Plastic marked with an SPI code of 4 is made with Low-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE. LDPE is

plastic-bags

not commonly recycled, but it is recyclable in certain areas. It is a very healthy plastic that tends to be both durable and flexible. Plastic cling wrap, sandwich bags, squeezable bottles, and plastic groceryplastic-type-fourbags are all made from LDPE. Recycled LDPE is used to make garbage cans, lumber, furniture, and more.

 

 

 

Plastic marked with an SPI code of 5 is made with Polypropylene, or PP. PP is not commonly recycled, plastic-stadium-cups plastic-type-fivebut it is accepted in many areas. This type of plastic is strong and can usually withstand higher temperatures. Among many other products, it is used to make plastic diapers, Tupperware, margarine containers, yogurt boxes, syrup bottles, prescription bottles, and some stadium cups. Plastic bottle caps are often made from PP as well. Recycled PP is used to make ice scrapers, rakes, battery cables, and more.

 

 

Plastic marked with an SPI code of 6 is made with Polystyrene, also known as PS and most commonly known as Styrofoam. It is commonly recycled, but it is difficult to do so and often ends up in landfills packing-peanuts plastic-type-sixanyway. Disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes, plastic cutlery, packing foam, and packing peanuts are made from PS. Recycled PS is used to make insulation, license plate frames, rulers, and more.

 

 

The SPI code of 7 is used to designate miscellaneous types of plastic that are not defined by the other plastic-cd plastic-type-sevensix codes. Polycarbonate and Polylactide are included in this category. These types of plastics are difficult to recycle. Polycarbonate, or PC, is used in baby bottles, large water bottles (multiple-gallon capacity), compact discs, and medical storage containers. Recycled plastics in this category are used to make plastic lumber, among other products.

 

 

As you can tell some types of plastic are not even recycle-able at all.  HDPE is among the few plastics that can be reused at the end of its life to make a perfectly new product again.  This process can occur an infinite amount of times as HDPE is able to be melted and reformed.  Information provided by

 

 

Posted in high density polyethylene.


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.