Classification and Types of Plastics

The first substance may be called a plastic was produced in 1860, but it was not until the twentieth century, especially from the second decade, when the study would be extended, and with it, its application to various uses and industries spread. This also led to different varieties of plastics, depending on their composition, properties and manufacturing. In the following section, we will see the different types of existing plastics.

Classification of Plastics

Those of us interested in recycling surely are used to separate our waste depending organic, paper, metal, plastic, etc. But in turn, to recycle plastics are differentiated according to a Plastics Identification Code which we tell you how they rank, what kind of products are used and how to identify them. The Plastic Identification Code is a system used internationally in the industrial sector to distinguish the composition of resins in packaging and other plastic products. This was done by the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) in 1988 in order to encourage and give more efficiency to recycling. Different types of plastic are identified with a number from 1 to 7 located inside the classic sign of recycling (triangle of arrows up). Let’s see what name has each of them and what their characteristics are.

Types of Plastics 

1 – PET (polyethylene terephthalate) 

PET is mainly utilized in the manufacture of beverage bottles.Through its recycled fibers, stuffing sleeping bags, mats, ropes and pillows are mainly obtained. 

2 – HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) 

HDPE is commonly used in jugs for milk, detergent, motor oil, etc. After being recycled, HDPE is used for flower pots, trash containers and detergent bottles. 

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3 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

It is utilized in making bottles for cooking oil and shampoo, service items for fast food restaurants, etc. it can also be recycled for the pipes of irrigation and drainage. 

4 – LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)

It is used in bags for grocery, bread and plastic wraps and is recycled as grocery bags again. 

5 – PP (Polypropylene)

It’s utilized for making containers for yogurt, straws and bottle caps. The PP after recycling plastic used as joists, steps for drainage records and boxes of batteries for cars.

6 – PS (Polystyrene)

PS is used in disposable cups of hot drinks and meat trays and is recycled into plastic beams, boxes for cassettes and pots.


Generally, it indicates that it is a blend of different plastics.Some of the products of this type of plastic are bottles for ketchup and dishes for microwave ovens.These plastics are not recycled because it is not known with certainty what kind of resins it contains.