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WHICH PLASTIC IS THAT?

When you commit to collecting for a PlastX job, it's important that you ONLY collect the kind of plastic that has been requested. But there are many different kinds of plastic in the environment.

This guide will help you understand the difference, so you'll ALWAYS know you're collecting the RIGHT STUFF!

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LDPE / LLDPE

Low Density Polyethylene &
Linear Low Density Polyethylene

LDPE (like HDPE) is a member of the Polyethylene family of plastics. But where HDPE is dense and rigid, LDPE is soft and flexible. Because of their differing properties, HDPE and LDPE are assigned separate recycling codes (HDPE is 2; LDPE is 4), and are used for different applications.

Rigid, strong and durable HDPE is often used for pipes and tubing, outdoor furniture, or for strong packaging (for example bottle caps, plastic milk bottles, and bottles for household cleaners). 

Soft and pliable LDPE is commonly used for lighter packaging items such as plastic bags, shrink wraps, food and beverage packaging (like six-pack rings), snap-on lids etc.

LDPE (like HDPE) is a member of the Polyethylene family of plastics. But where HDPE is dense and rigid, LDPE is soft and flexible. Because of their differing properties, HDPE and LDPE are assigned separate recycling codes (HDPE is 2; LDPE is 4), and are used for different applications.

Rigid, strong and durable HDPE is often used for pipes and tubing, outdoor furniture, or for strong packaging (for example bottle caps, plastic milk bottles, and bottles for household cleaners). 

Soft and pliable LDPE is commonly used for lighter packaging items such as plastic bags, shrink wraps, food and beverage packaging (like six-pack rings), snap-on lids etc.

LDPE

Properties

•Soft

•Pliable

•Naturally Transparent

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HDPE

Uses

Properties

•Six-pack rings

•Snap-on lids

•Shrink wraps

• Bags

•Strong

•Rigid

•Naturally Translucent

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Uses

•Pipes & tubing

•Milk Bottles

•Bottle Caps

• Bags

Both HDPE and LDPE are used for making plastic films and bags!

Because we can ONLY accept the kind of plastic that's requested, it's VERY important that you can tell the difference between LDPE and HDPE. HERE'S HOW!

LDPE is softer and more pliable than HDPE...

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HDPE is naturally translucent - meaning that light can pass through it - but is NEVER transparent...

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LDPE is naturally transparent, like the bread bag here, BUT it can also be opaque and coloured, like these trash bags. You can still tell they're LDPE though because the plastic is soft and pliable.

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Because of its more rigid structure, HDPE makes a distinctive crackling sound when you scrunch it up.

1) LOOK: Is it completely transparent?

Is it completely transparent?

Does it make a loud scrunching noise?

Is it soft and shiny?

Is it soft and shiny?

Can you easily tie a knot in it?

Is it LDPE?

Is it HDPE?

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HDPE is

it's often used for

  • Strong and dense

  • Semi-flexible to hard

  • White or coloured

  • Translucent - not transparent

  • Milk or juice bottles

  • Bottles for cleaning products

  • Shampoo bottles

  • Ice cream containers

  • Crates

if you're collecting HDPE, look for...

These milk cartons

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These crates

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But NOT these drink bottles

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But NOT these drinking straws

HDPE is easily identified by the internationally recognised code (2)

If you're not sure, look for this symbol:

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PP

Polypropylene

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PP is

  • Hard 

  • Flexible

  • Translucent

  • Waxy Surface

it's often used for

  • Bottle screw caps

  • Straws

  • Food containers

  • Flower pots

if you're collecting PP, look for...

These bottle CAPS

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But NOT the bottles

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These drinking STRAWS

But NOT the cups

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PP is easily identified by the internationally recognised code (5)

If you're not sure, look for this symbol:

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Didn't find what you need?

Get in touch - we can help!