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How to Categorize and Recycle Plastics

Plastics are so common in your lives and you know it when you see it, yet you presumably can’t find the difference among all plastic types. How to categorize and recycle plastics? For a beginner, there is no difference between HDPE and LDPE. Unless you work in the plastics recycling or plastics making industry.

Plastic is one of the popular materials our clients want to process. It’s also the most complicated material to recycle because plastic wastes often come in a mixture and often is highly contaminated.

Luckily, a product made of plastic is often stamped with a code, which is a number between one and seven inside a small triangle made of arrows. It’s the number inside the triangle that counts because each number corresponds to a different type of plastic.

Follow this number, we can categorize plastic waste and make our recycling machines’ jobs easier. Because once the plastic waste is sorted, the rest of the job is size reduced by shredder and crusher, washed by friction washer.

1. PET – Polyethylene terephthalate

Yes, PET/PETE products CAN be recycled.

When you are thirsty, go buy a bottle of water? PET is what’s used to make bottles for soda, water and other drinks. It’s also used to make cooking oil containers, plastic peanut butter jars and cosmetics containers. PET has a high value as recycling materials. Recycling machines like sink-float tank can discharge non-PET products by density difference.

2. HDPE – High-density polyethylene

Yes, HDPE products CAN be recycled.

HDPE plastics are also extremely common. They’re those used to make paint pails, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, jerry can, chemical drum, oil canister, cleaning product containers and detergent bottles. Often they are compressed and baled, which are easy to be broken down by a shredder.

3. PVC – Polyvinyl chloride

No, PVC products CANNOT be recycled.

PVC is soft and flexible plastic. PVC is mainly applicable for pipeline, kids’ toys and plastic trays. PVC is a highly appreciated plastic for pipe manufacturers. A pipe shredder is the best way to recycle PVC pipes.

4. LDPE – Low-density polyethylene

Yes and No. LDPE products CAN SOMETIMES be recycled.  

Plastic wrapping and packaging are made of LDPE plastic. It’s often used to make grocery bags, food wraps, cling films and the bags that contain sliced bread loaves and fresh produce. By using GEP Ecotechfilm recycling line, contaminated films are ready to reuse.

5. PP – Polypropylene

Yes and No. PP products CAN SOMETIMES be recycled.

PP is used to produced the disposable food containers used for products like jam, yogurt, butter and sour cream. It’s also made into straws, rope, mafia, carpet and bottle caps.

6. PS – Polystyrene

Yes and No. PS products CAN SOMETIMES be recycled.

Styrofoam products are made out of PS plastic, so it’s commonly used to make disposable coffee cups, packing peanuts, coolers and to-go food containers.

7. Other- PC, PA, ABS, EVA, POM, etc

Yes and No. #7 products CAN SOMETIMES be recycled.

The unlisted plastics belong here. This does not mean the rest of the plastics is not recyclable. GEP Ecotechhard/soft plastics recycling system help with reclaiming all kinds of plastics.

Something else you need to know

Sometimes a water bottle can be made of PC or PET or even HDPE. Indeed, for consumers, it is never an easy task to fully understand and categorize plastic products. But once consumers start to know about and categorize plastic waste, this will boost the efficiency GEP Ecotechrecycling machines.

Whatever your plastic waste is, GEP Ecotechis competent to offer systemic solutions with the least power consumption and high output. Our experience in how to categorize and recycle Plastics will guide you from pre-sales to installation.

plastic recycling system for plastic waste