The principles of recycling plastic

Plastics can be found everywhere in the environment and it can be difficult to differentiate between the various types of plastic that exist. How do you tell which are recyclable and which are not? This is a good time to remind ourselves of the various principles of recycling….

The seven principles of recycling plastic materials

Since plastic as a material is very difficult to recycle, there are only 4 main families of recyclable plastic, namely PP (polypropylene), PET (polyethylene terephthalate), HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and LDPE (low-density polyethylene).

The plastics industry has created a system based on 7 key principles, numbered 1 to 7, corresponding to plastics with different characteristics and properties.


codeType de plastiqueUtilisation
Plastic_pete1  Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)  fizzy drink bottles, cooking oil bottles  


High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)  detergent bottles, fruit juice bottles, milk bottles, etc.


Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) water bottles, shampoo bottles, plastic film, etc.


Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)  plastic bags and packaging, bin bags, etc.


Polypropylene (PP)  yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, children’s cups, flasks, etc.
 Plastic_ps6  Polystyene (PS)  plastic cups, yoghurt pots, hamburger boxes, etc.
 Plastic_other7  Any other type of plastic  …

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