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Types of Polymers

#1 PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – This plastic is used in soft drink bottles and other blow-molded containers, 

strapping, molding compounds, and food and non food containers. (American Plastics Council, adapted from Modern Plastics Encyclopedia, 1995.) Fizzy drink bottles, oven-ready meal trays and water bottles


#2 HDPE (High-density polyethylene) – Examples include milk jugs, juice bottles, film (trash bags, agricultural film, T-shirts, bags), trash cans, and toys. (American Plastics Council, adapted fromModern Plastics Encyclopedia, 1995)

Milk bottles, detergent bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, cereal box liners and grocery, trash and retail bags


#3 PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) – Vinyl products can be broadly divided into rigid and flexible materials. Rigid applications, accounting for 60 percent of total vinyl production, are concentrated in construction markets, which include pipe and fittings, siding, carpet backing, and windows. Bottles and packaging sheet are also major rigid markets. Flexible vinyl is used in wire and cable insulation, film and sheet, floor coverings, synthetic leather products, coatings, blood bags, medical tubing and many other applications. (American Plastics Council, adapted fromModern Plastics Encyclopedia, 1995).


#4 LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) – Dry cleaning bags, produce bags, trash can liners, bread bags, frozen food bags and squeezable bottles, such as mustard and honey


#5 PP (Polypropylene) – is found in everything from flexible and rigid packaging to fibers and large molded parts for automotive and consumer products. (Adapted from Modern Plastics Encyclopedia, 1995; Plastic Packaging Opportunities and Challenges, American Plastics Council, 1992.) Ketchup bottles, medicine bottles, aerosol caps and drinking straws


#6 PS (Polystyrene) – Typical applications include protective packaging, containers, lids, cups, bottles, trays and tumblers ("Plastic Packaging Opportunities and Challenges," American Plastics Council, 1992).

#7 Other - Three- and five-gallon reusable water bottles, certain kinds of food containers and Tupperware, everything else.