What are the types of plastic that can be recycled?

Various types of plastic

There are many types of plastic. Plastic must be sorted by type for recycling since each type melts at a different temperature. The plastics industry has developed identification codes to label different types of plastic. They are:

Types of Recyclable Plastic

  • Plastic #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE)
    Common uses: Soda bottles, cooking oil bottles. This is the most widely recycled plastic. Many recycling centres request that you remove the caps and flatten the bottles.

  • Plastic #2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
    Common uses: Detergent bottles, grocery bags.

  • Plastic #3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
    Common uses: Plastic pipes, outdoor furniture, water bottles. Recycling centers almost never take #3 plastic.

  • Plastic #4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
    Common uses: Dry cleaning bags, trash can liners, food storage containers.

  • Plastic #5: Polypropylene (PP)
    Common uses: Aerosol caps, drinking straws. Recycling centers almost never take #5 plastic.

  • Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS)
    Common uses: Packaging pellets or Styrofoam peanuts, cups, plastic tableware, meat trays. Many shipping/packaging stores will accept polystyrene peanuts and other packaging materials for reuse.

  • Plastic #7: Other
    Common uses: Certain kinds of food containers and Tupperware.

There are many ways for us to reduce the production of unnecessary plastic materials. Here are some examples:

  • Refuse / Reduce
    When grocery shopping, bring your own bags. Or if possible, choose paper bags instead of plastic ones.

    Get the shopkeeper to deliver your groceries to your house if possible. Deliveries are made with boxes, which they can take back to be re-used.

  • Re-use
    If plastic bags do find their way to your house, do not throw them away. Keep them someplace so they can be re-used. You can even clean them up and return it to the store you got them from.

  • Recycle
    Do not throw every piece of plastic material away. Some of them can be recycled. Check to see which ones are recyclable.

    Plastic toy pieces can be donated to charity homes or other kid if you no longer need them.

These are just some of the ways that you can put to use when dealing with plastics.

  1. Malaysia Ministry of Housing and Local Government

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Knowledge Base ID :   1163
Last Reviewed :   January 3, 2017
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