Resin Codes

The below chart outlines the different types of resin codes and what each type can be recycled into. Research is being conducted all the time to find new and innovative ways of reusing plastics.

Resin Code
 Description  Properties  Product Application
Recycling Possibilities
resin_code1.jpg Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, PETE). PET is clear, tough, and has good gas and moisture barrier properties. This resin is commonly used in beverage bottles and many injection-moulded consumer product containers. Cleaned, recycled PET flakes and pellets are in great demand for spinning fiber for carpet yarns, producing fiberfill and geo-textiles. Nickname: Polyester. - Clear and optically smooth surfaces for oriented films and bottles

- Excellent barrier to oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide

- High impact capability and shatter resistance
- Excellent resistance to most solvents

- Capability for hot-filling
Plastic bottles for soft drinks, water, juice, sports drinks, beer, mouthwash, catsup and salad dressing.

Food jars for peanut butter, jelly, jam and pickles.

Ovenable film and microwavable food trays.

In addition to packaging, PET’s major uses are textiles, monofilament, carpet, strapping, films, and engineering moldings.
Fiber for carpet, fleece jackets, comforter fill, and tote bags.

Containers for food, beverages (bottles), and non-food items.

Film and sheet.

resin_code2.jpg High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is used to make many types of bottles. Unpigmented bottles are translucent, have good barrier properties and stiffness, and are well suited to packaging products with a short shelf life such as milk. Because HDPE has good chemical resistance, it is used for packaging many household and industrial chemicals such as detergents and bleach. Pigmented HDPE bottles have better stress crack resistance than unpigmented HDPE. - Excellent resistance to most solvents

- Higher tensile strength compared to other forms of polyethylene

- Relatively stiff material with useful temperature capabilities
Bottles for milk, water, juice, cosmetics, shampoo, dish and laundry detergents, and household cleaners.

Bags for groceries and retail purchases.

Cereal box liners.

Reusable shipping containers.

In addition to packaging, HDPE’s major uses are in injection molding applications, extruded pipe and conduit, plastic wood composites, and wire and cable covering.
Bottles for non-food items, such as shampoo, conditioner, liquid laundry detergent, household cleaners, motor oil and antifreeze.

Plastic lumber for outdoor decking, fencing and picnic tables.

Pipe, floor tiles, buckets, crates, flower pots, garden edging, film and sheet, and recycling bins.
resin_code3.jpg Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC, Vinyl).
In addition to its stable physical properties, PVC has good chemical resistance, weatherability, flow characteristics and stable electrical properties. The diverse slate of vinyl products can be broadly divided into rigid and flexible materials.
- High impact strength, brilliant clarity, excellent processing performance

- Resistance to grease, oil and chemicals
Rigid packaging applications include blister packs and clamshells.

Flexible packaging uses include bags for bedding and medical, shrink wrap, deli and meet wrap and tamper resistance.

PVC’s major uses are rigid applications such as pipe, siding, window frames, fencing, decking and railing.

Flexible applications include medical products such as blood bags and medical tubing, wire and cable insulation, carpet backing, and flooring.
Pipe, decking, fencing, paneling, gutters, carpet backing, floor tiles and mats, resilient flooring, mud flaps, cassette trays, electrical boxes, cables, traffic cones, garden hose, and mobile home skirting.

Packaging, film and sheet, and loose-leaf binders.
resin_code4.jpg Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE).
LDPE is used predominately in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility and relative transparency, making it popular for use in applications where heat sealing is necessary. LDPE also is used to manufacture some flexible lids and bottles as well as in wire and cable applications.

Includes Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE).
- Excellent resistance to acids, bases and vegetable oils

- Toughness, flexibility and relative transparency (good combination of properties for packaging applications requiring heat-sealing)
Bags for dry cleaning, newspapers, bread, frozen foods, fresh produce, and household garbage.

Shrink wrap and stretch film.

Coatings for paper milk cartons and hot and cold beverage cups.

Container lids.


Squeezable bottles (e.g., honey and mustard).

In addition to packaging, LDPE’s major uses are in injection molding applications, adhesives and sealants, and wire and cable coverings.
Shipping envelopes, garbage can liners, floor tile, paneling, furniture, film and sheet, compost bins, trash cans, landscape timber, and outdoor lumber.
resin_code5.jpg Polypropylene (PP).
PP has good chemical resistance, is strong, and has a high melting point making it good for hot-fill liquids. This resin is found in flexible and rigid packaging, fibers, and large moulded parts for automotive and consumer products.
- Excellent optical clarity in biaxially oriented films and stretch blow moulded containers

- Low moisture vapor transmission

- Inertness toward acids, alkalis and most solvents
Containers for yogurt, margarine, takeout meals, and deli foods.

Medicine bottles.

Bottle caps and closures.

Bottles for catsup and syrup.

In addition to packaging, PP’s major uses are in fibers, appliances and consumer products, including durable applications such as automotive and carpeting.
Automobile applications, such as battery cases, signal lights, battery cables, brooms and brushes, ice scrapers, oil funnels, and bicycle racks.

Garden rakes, storage bins, shipping pallets, sheeting, trays.
resin_code6.jpg Polystyrene (PS).
PS is a versatile plastic that can be rigid or foamed. General purpose polystyrene is clear, hard and brittle. It has a relatively low melting point. Typical applications include protective packaging, foodservice packaging, bottles, and food containers.

PS is often combined with rubber to make high impact polystyrene (HIPS) which is used for packaging and durable applications requiring toughness, but not clarity.
-Excellent moisture barrier for short shelf life products

- Excellent optical clarity in general purpose form

- Significant stiffness in both foamed and rigid forms.

- Low density and high stiffness in foamed applications

- Low thermal conductivity and excellent insulation properties in foamed form
Food service items, such as cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, hinged takeout containers (clamshells), meat and poultry trays, and rigid food containers (e.g., yogurt). These items may be made with foamed or non-foamed PS.

Protective foam packaging for furniture, electronics and other delicate items.

Packing peanuts, known as “loose fill.”

Compact disc cases and aspirin bottles.

In addition to packaging, PS’s major uses are in agricultural trays, electronic housings, cable spools, building insulation, video cassette cartridges, coat hangers, and medical products and toys.
Thermal insulation, thermometers, light switch plates, vents, desk trays, rulers, and license plate frames.

Cameras or video cassette casings.

Foamed foodservice applications, such as egg shell cartons.

Plastic mouldings (i.e., wood replacement products).
Expandable polystyrene (EPS) foam protective packaging.
resin_code7.jpg Other.
Use of this code indicates that a package is made with a resin other than the six listed above, or is made of more than one resin and used in a multi-layer combination.
Dependent on resin or combination of resins Three- and five-gallon reusable water bottles, some citrus juice and catsup bottles.

Oven-baking bags, barrier layers, and custom packaging.
 Bottles and plastic lumber applications.