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Lesson 2: HDPE

High Density Polyethyene

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Need to know about a different plastic?

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High Density Polyethylene
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The International Resin Code for HDPE is


Polyethylene is the world's most common plastic. It appears in three forms: high-density (HDPE), low-density (LDPE) and linear low-density (LLDPE).

(To understand more about LDPE/ LLDPE, see lesson 4.)

HDPE is the strongest of the three Polyethylenes, and is often used in food packaging (for example, in white milk 'bottles').

HDPE's high resistance to chemical corrosion makes it a popular choice for household cleaners.

 HDPE is 

  • Strong & dense

  • Semi-flexible to hard

  • Translucent - NOT Transparent

HDPE is used for

  • Cleaning product bottles

  • Milk or juice bottles

  • Hard crates

  • Shopping Bags


White milk bottles like these...

HDPE Milk Bottle.lite_edited.png
HDPE Milk Bottle.lite_edited.png
HDPE Milk Bottles

But NOT the clear kind like these...

Clear PP Milk Bottles
Clear PP Milk Bottles

Household cleanser bottles like these

Colorful opaque HDPE bottles for household cleaners

These Ice Cream Containers

Rigid crates

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plastic ice cream containers
Blue rigid HDPE crate

And even these crackly-sounding shopping bags!

Multi-color HDPE Shopping Bags

 > Insider's tip: HDPE cannot be colorless.

If it's completely transparent, it ISN'T HDPE!

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Still have questions about plastic types, or what to collect?

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