|The International Plastic Identification Code
|1. PET - Polyethylene Terephthalate
Main character of PET is transparency, strength and toughness
while being an excellent barrier for liquid and gasses.
Main uses for PET are as a soft drink, water and salad dressing
bottles. It is also used for peanut butter and jam jars where
the transparent nature can allow the product contained to be
PET can also be used as a fabric and is frequently spun into a
yarn which is then woven into a cloth. PET fabrics tend to
have very high wear strength so can be seen from commercial grade
upholstery through to clothing.
|2. HDPE - High Density
Main character of PET is stiffness, strength and toughness while
being an excellent barrier for liquid yet permeable for
One of the main uses for HDPE is as a plastic milk bottle where
the 'natural' colour of the material is seen. HDPE is also
used for some 'janitorial' grade products such as cleaning agents
or shampoo bottles where a strong colour is used.
HDPE is also used to make hula-hoop, buckets and also water
|3. PVC Polyvinyl
Main characteristics of PVC are strength, toughness and ease of
PVC will be used in blister packaging for non-food items, wrapping
for non-food items and the casing around electrical wired.
Additives used within PVC to allow the rigidity are toxic hence it
is not used to contain food.
|4. LDPE - Low Density Polyethylene
Ease of processing, strength, toughness, flexibility, ease of
sealing and a barrier to moisture.
LDPE is frequently used as a cling film or shrink wrap, bread bag,
frozen food bag and some squeezable bottles. Not all squeezy
bottles will be only LDPE as the acidity in some foods or sauces
can erode the material
|5. PP - Polypropylene
Main characteristics of PP are its strength, flexibility and its
resistance to both heat and oil. It also serves as an
excellent barrier to moisture and gasses.
PP is a naturally waxy feeling material with one of its most
advantageous features being the capacity for an integrated
hinge. For this reason, PP is used on many flexible lids for
shampoo, creams and other easily opened lids.
Because PP is able to withstand high heat along with being a
barrier for heat and liquids, many microwave proof plastics use
|6. PS - Polystyrene
PP can be easily formed and is highly versatile.
The range of uses for PP are wide ranging from egg cartons to
disposable plates, meat trays and take away containers.
Covers all the other plastics into a single group. These
together represent a large volume however as single materials, have
a low volume compared to plastic grades 1-6. ABS and PLA are
two examples of plastics contained within this grade.