Types of Plastics

The following information is designed to help you identify the types of plastics that you will find and their common uses. If we can identify the type of plastic material for recycling, we can reduce plastic pollution. Most packaging contains a small number/logo to identify the type of plastic. This symbol is usually located at the base or the back of the item directly on the plastic.

Please note that not all local authorities can collect all types of plastics using a kerbside collection so please check with your local council to verify this. Alternatively you can deliver your recycling materials to your local recycling facility and some supermarkets may offer recycling banks for plastics.

Although Pure Planet Recycling does not offer plastic recycling to domestic customers, we hope you find the following information on the types of plastic helpful and thus recycle more. If you find this information useful, please link to this resource so others can also gain knowledge and spread the word on recycling plastics.

pet plastic symbol

#1 PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate

PET or PETE, as it is also known, is commonly used for fizzy drinks, water bottles and salad trays. PET is widely recycled back into the manufacturing of items such as textiles, clothing, food and beverage containers and even carpet.

hdpe plastic logo

#2 HDPE – High-Density Polyethylene

HDPE is used for milk bottles, bleach, detergents and some shampoo bottles. Some plastic bags are also made from HDPE. It is easily recyclable back into items such as non food containers, detergent bottles, recycling containers and floor tiles.

pvc plastic logo

#3 PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride

PVC or Vinyl as it also referred to as is commonly used in the manufacturing of carpet backing, pipes, window and door frames(rigid PVC) and fittings within the home. Although it’s widespread use recycling facilities may not be able to handle this plastic. Where recycled, it is used for the remanufacturing of packaging, paneling, guttering, electrical equipment, traffic cones etc.

ldpe plastic logo

#4 LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene

LDPE is used commonly for bin liners, packaging film, squeezable bottles and plastic bags. Please check with your local recycling facility can take LDPE for onward recycling. After being recycled it’s use is common in the manufacturing of shipping envelopes, bin liners and carrier bags.

pp plastic logo

#5 PP – Polypropylene

PP is used in the packaging of food and non food containers, margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays. It’s fibres are also used for carpets, wall coverings and some vehicle upholstery. It’s use after recycling the material is very similar to it’s originally designed purpose, and please check whether you can recycle this at your local facility.

Polystyrene plastic logo

#6 PS – Polystyrene

PS is most commonly know for it’s packaging protection uses especially electronic goods and toys whilst in transit. It is also used for packaging some foods such as hamburger boxes, egg cartons, and yoghurts. PS is not typically recycled, but please check with your local recycling facility.

Unallocated References plastics logo

#7 Unallocated References – Everything Else

Other plastics that do not fall into the categories above may be highlighted with the number 7 logo or the word other. If you are unsure though please refer to the manufacturer of the product as to whether it can be recycled or not.

Do you know your recycling symbols? Our useful guide helps you identify what they mean.