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Plastic Code
Type of plastic polymer
Common Packaging Applications
Polyethylene terephthalate
(PET, PETE)
Soft drink, water and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter and jam jars
High-density polyethylene
(HDPE)
Water pipes, hula hoop rings, five gallon buckets, milk, juice and water bottles; the occasional shampoo / toiletry bottle
Polyvinyl chloridee
(PVC)
Blister packaging for non-food items; cling films for non-food use. Not used for food packaging as the plasticizer’s needed to make natively rigid PVC flexible are usually toxic. Non-packaging uses are electrical cable insulation; rigid piping; vinyl records.
Low-density polyethylene
(LDPE)
Frozen food bags; squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard; cling films; flexible container lids.
Polypropylene
(PP)
Reusable microwaveable ware; kitchenware; yogurt containers; margarine tubs; microwaveable disposable take-away containers; disposable cups; plates.
Polystyrene
(PS)
Egg cartons; packing peanuts; disposable cups, plates, trays and cutlery; disposable take-away containers;
Other
(often polycarbonate or ABS)
Beverage bottles; baby milk bottles. Non-packaging uses for polycarbonate: compact discs; "unbreakable" glazing; electronic apparatus housings; lenses including sunglasses, prescription glasses, automotive headlamps, riot shields, instrument panels;