Common Plastics & the Plastic Identification Code

Type of Plastic Properties Common Uses Recyled In
PET
Polyethylene Terephthalate
Clear, tough solvent resistant, barrier to gas and moisture, softens at 80°C Soft drink and water bottles, salad domes, biscuit trays, salad dressing and peanut butter containers Pillow and sleeping bag filling, clothing, soft drink bottles carpet
PE-HD
High Density Polyethylene
Hard to semi-flexible, resistant to chemicals and moisture, waxy surface, opaque, softens at 75°C, easily coloured, processed and formed Crinkly shopping bags, freezer bags, milk bottles, ice cream containers, juice bottles, shampoo, chemical and detergent bottles, buckets, rigid agricultural pipe, milk crates Recycling bins, compost bins, buckets, detergent containers, posts, fencing, pipes
PVC
Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride PVC-U

Plasticised Polyvinyl Chloride PCV-P

Strong, tough, can be clear, can be solvent welded, softens at 80°C

Flexible, clear, elastic, can be solvent welded

Cosmetic containers, electrical conduit, plumbing pipes and fittings, blister packs, wall cladding, roof sheeting, bottles

garden hose, shoe soles, cable sheathing, blood bags and tubing, watch straps

Flooring, film and sheets, cables, speed bumps, packaging, binders, mud flaps and mats
PE-LD
Low density Polyethylene
Soft, flexible, waxy surface, translucent, softens at 70°C, scratches easily Plastic Food wrap, garbage bags, squeeze bottles, black irrigation tube, garbage bins Rubbish bin liners, pallet sheets
PP
Polypropylene
Hard but still flexible, waxy surface, softens at 140°C, translucent, withstands solvents, versatile Dip bottles and ice cream tubs, potato chip bags, straws, microwave dishes, kettles, garden furniture, lunch boxes, blue packing tape Pegs, bins, pipes, pallet sheets, oil funnels, car battery cases, trays

You will find information about the Plastics Identification Codes here: plastics.org.nz