Plastic Recycle Codes

Plastic Recycle Codes - Packaging Solutions, Inc.

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High Density Polyethylene: HDPE is the most widely used resin for plastic bottles. This material is economical, impact resistant, and provides a good moisture barrier. HDPE is compatible with a wide range of products including acids and caustics, is supplied in FDA approved food grade, but is not compatible with solvents. While HDPE is naturally translucent and flexible, the addition of color will make HDPE opaque, although not glossy and it lends itself readily to silk screen decoration. While HDPE provides good protection at below freezing temperatures, it cannot be used with products filled at over 160 °F (71.1 °C) or products requiring a hermetic (vacuum) seal. Recycle Code: 2

Low Density Polyethylene: LDPE is similar to HDPE in composition. It is less rigid and generally less chemically resistant than HDPE, but is more translucent. LDPE is used primarily for squeeze applications such as nasal sprays, eye droppers and more. As a general rule, LDPE is significantly more expensive than HDPE. Recycle Code: 4

Polyethylene Terephthalate: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE or polyester) is commonly used for carbonated beverage and water bottles. PET provides very good alcohol and essential oil barrier properties, generally good chemical resistance (although acetones and ketones will attack PET) and a high degree of impact resistance and tensile strength. The orienting process serves to improve gas and moisture barrier properties and impact strength. This material does not provide resistance to high temperature applications—maximum temperature is around 160 °F (71.1 °C). Recycle Code: 1

Polyvinyl Chloride: PVC or V, is naturally clear, has extremely good resistance to oils, and has very low oxygen transmission. It provides an excellent barrier to most gases and its drop impact resistance is also very good. This material is chemically resistant, but it is vulnerable to solvents. PVC is an excellent choice for salad oil, mineral oil, and vinegar and is commonly used for shampoos and cosmetic products. PVC exhibits poor resistance to high temperatures and will distort at 160 °F (71.1 °C), making it incompatible with hot filled products. With the latest government regulations against PVC, many companies are switching to PET or treated HDPE containers. Recycle Code: 3

Polypropylene (PP): Polypropylene is used primarily for jars and closures and provides a rigid package with excellent moisture barrier. One major advantage of polypropylene is its stability at high temperatures, up to around 200 °F. Polypropylene is autoclavable and offers the potential for steam sterilization. The compatibility of PP with high filling temperatures is responsible for its use with hot fill products such as pancake syrup. PP has excellent chemical resistance, but provides poor impact resistance in cold temperatures. Recycle Code: 5

Polystyrene (PS): Styrene offers excellent clarity and stiffness at an economical cost. It is commonly used with dry products including vitamins, petroleum jellies, and spices. Styrene does not provide good barrier properties, and exhibits poor impact resistance. Recycle Code: 6

Fluorine Treated HDPE: Bottles are exposed to fluorine gas in a secondary operation, are similar in appearance to HDPE and have exceptional barrier properties to hydrocarbons and aromatic solvents. Fluorine treated bottles are excellent for use with insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, photographic chemicals, agricultural chemicals, household and industrial cleaners, electronic chemicals, medical cleaners and solvents, citrus products, d-limone, flavors, fragrances, essential oils, surfactants, polishes, additives, graffiti cleaning products, pre-emergents, stone and tile care products, waxes, paint thinner, gasoline, biodiesel, xylene, acetone, kerosene and more.

Post Consumer Resin (PCR): PCR is a blend of reclaimed natural HDPE (primarily from milk and water containers) and virgin resin. The recycled material is cleaned, ground and recompounded into uniform pellets along with prime virgin material especially designed to build up environmental stress crack resistance. PCR has no odor but exhibits a slight yellow tint in its natural state. This tint can be hidden by the addition of color. PCR is easily processed and inexpensive. However, it cannot come into direct contact with food or pharmaceutical products. PCR can be produced in a variety of recycled content percentages up to 100%.

K-Resin SBC: K-resin is ideally suited to a wide variety of packaging applications by virtue of its sparkling clarity, high gloss, and impact resistance. K-Resin, a styrene derivative, is easily processed on polyethylene equipment. It is suitable for packaging many products but is specifically incompatible with fats and unsaturated oils or solvents. This material is frequently used for display and point-of-purchase packaging.

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