Plasgran Guide to Plastic Recycling Grades

Recyclable Consumables

The UK government aims to increase the plastic packaging recycling rate through the development of a sustainable sector.  Plasgran intends to fully support these initiatives and has been providing plastic recycling services for a wide range of industries since 1999.  We offer competitive prices for all types of plastic waste, from wheelie bins to utility pipe scrap, and convert them into high quality, environmentally-friendly compounds that can be created to clients’ exact specifications.

The recycling process varies for different types of plastic depending on their chemical makeup.  To differentiate them, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) devised a classification system with grades, displayed on plastic packaging as a number within the recycle logo, which is a triangle formed by arrows.

To help our readers better understand the different grades of plastics, Plasgran have created a guide for #RecycleWeek (and long after) that can be viewed below, or downloaded as a PDF for easy reference.  Regardless of grade, we are proud to say that Plasgran are equipped with the latest technology to reprocess any type of plastic.

The 7 Grades of Plastic [TABLE]

Grade Properties Examples Recycled Products
1 Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) Clarity, toughness, barrier to gas and moisture, heat resistant, sinks in water. Water bottles, food jars, ovenable film, packaging. Fibres, drink bottles.
2 High density polyethylene (HDPE) Toughness, resistance to moisture and chemicals, ease of processing, permeability to gas, floats in water. Thin products e.g. milk containers, juice bottles, butter tubs, cereal bags, rubbish bags, wheelie bins, caps and closures. Plastic crates, recycling bins, agricultural pipes, pallets.
3 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Clarity, ease of blending, strength, toughness, versatility, resistance to grease, oil and chemicals, sinks in water. Bottles for storing cleaning products, plumbing pipes, medical products, building windows. Pipes, packaging.
4 Low density polyethylene (LDPE) Ease of processing, strength, toughness, flexibility, ease of sealing, barrier to moisture, floats in water. Usually thin and pliable e.g. shopping bags, squeeze bottles, disposable gloves, frozen food containers, caps and closures. Plastic bags, dispensing bottles, tubing.
5 Polypropylene (PP) Strength, toughness, resistance to heat, chemicals, grease and oil, versatility, barrier to moisture, floats in water. Condiment bottles, medicine bottles, straws, bottle caps, tupperware, caps and closures, buckets. Rubbish bins, auto parts, industrial fibres, pots, trays, tubs, crates, pallets.
6 Polystyrene (PS) Versatility, insulation, clarity, easily formed, sinks in water. Disposable cups, cutlery, food boxes, packaging foam. Pots, tubs, trays.
7 Miscellaneous Comprises plastics that are not defined by the other 6 grades.  Normally sinks in water. A large variety of plastics e.g. baby bottles, compact discs, storage containers, number plates. Car parts, pallets, storage racking.


Plasgran Guide to Plastic Recycling Grades [INFOGRAPHIC]

Plasgran Guide to Plastic Recycling Grades

Download the PDF version of the infographic here.

For more information on how Plasgran can help your business with plastics recycling, email or call us on 01354 740005.

English EN Dutch NL French FR German DE Italian IT Spanish ES