Types of plastic


bottleThe following table illustrates the most common types of plastics used, their applications and the symbol which is often used to identify them on forms of plastic packaging.

Polymer Types Examples of applications Symbol
Fizzy drink and water bottles. Salad trays.
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High Density
Milk bottles, bleach, cleaners and most
shampoo bottles.
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Pipes, fittings, window and door frames
(rigid PVC). Thermal insulation (PVC foam)
and automotive parts.
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Low Density
Carrier bags, bin liners and packaging films.
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Polypropylene Margarine tubs, microwaveable meal trays, also produced as fibres and filaments for carpets, wall coverings and vehicle
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Polystyrene Yoghurt pots, foam hamburger boxes and egg cartons, plastic cutlery, protective packaging for electronic goods and toys. Insulating material in the building and construction industry.
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Unallocated References Any other plastics that do not fall into any of the above categories – for example polycarbonate which is often used in glazing for the aircraft industry
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