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Plastic Recycling Symbols

You know when you buy a bottle of water or a bottle of pop, and you read the label and you wonder what the funny looking symbol is? Well here, we attempt to explain, in plain English, what they mean. There are over 50 types of plastics, here are the most commonly used ones. This in turn will give you a better idea of what you're recycling! And did you know that we use approximately 15 million bottles every day in the UK?

Also check out these links for further information and ideas about plastics.

Facts About Plastics

Second Use Ideas for Plastic Bags

PET Symbol
The proper name for this is Polyethylene terephthalate. There are clear and coloured PET bottles. Clear PET bottles include fizzy drinks, mineral water, cooking oils and squashes. Coloured PET bottles can be light/dark green dark blue, red - well pretty much any colour really!

HDPE Symbol
This is high-density polyethylene. This also comes as natural, coloured or mixed. Natural HDPE includes milk bottles. Coloured HDPE covers many more products such as washing up liquid, shampoo and conditioner, bleach and other cleaning fluids, and bath and shower bottles.

Polyvinyl Chloride Symbol
This is polyvinyl chloride and this can be found in the form of pipes and cleaning and detergent bottles such as Ciff or washing up liquid.

LDPE Symbol
This is low-density polyethylene. Examples include sandwich bags, bread bags such as Hovis, and 6 pack rings from your fizzy drinks.

Polypropylene Symbol
This is polypropylene, which is used for screw on caps (plenty of these listed in the Ideas Section of the website), strews and margarine tubs also.

Polystyrene Symbol
This is polystyrene, which is most commonly used for foam cups.

Other Symbol
This is polycarbonate, acrylic, ABS, mixed and/or multi layer plastic. Basically it is a mixture of everything thrown in together and many household products come in this type of container. Why not go and try and find one?

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