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7 Types of Plastics and How to Recycle Them

25 Feb 7 Types of Plastics and How to Recycle Them
Posted By Marketing 1 Comment(s) 8576 View(s)

7 Types of Plastic That You Use Every Day – And How To Recycle Them

Most of us use many types of plastic daily. You’re probably holding a smartphone, tablet or mouse containing a large plastic component as you read this blog. Perhaps you’re sitting on a plastic chair reading from a plastic screen. The uses for plastic seem endless, and plastic turns up in most of the manufactured products people use every day.

But do you know which plastics can be recycled? UK manufacturers place a recycling classification symbol (SPI code) from 1-7 on each plastic product to indicate which polymers it contains. These seven symbols and the uses for these types of plastic are as follows:

  1. PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is used to make plastic bottles/packaging. It can be recycled to make polyester-based fabrics for clothing and accessories such as lanyards.
  2. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is often used in wheelie bins, refuse bags, food cartons and milk or juice bottles.
  3. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is used to manufacture pipes, guttering and non-food product packaging.
  4. LDPE (low-density polyethylene) is a durable, flexible plastic used to manufacture grocery bags, disposable gloves, cling film and food packaging.
  5. PP (polypropylene) is used to make bottle tops, lunch boxes, buckets and medicine bottles.
  6. PS (polystyrene) is used to manufacture disposable cups and cutlery, food packaging and packing foam.
  7. Other plastics are used to make CDs, car registration plates, baby bottles and storage containers.

With so many different plastics used in everyday products, it’s difficult to know what can be recycled and how. Although it is possible to recycle many plastics, they are not all accepted by standard recycling refuse collectors. Some plastics cannot be, or are not normally, recycled.

ID Card Centre is transparent about which plastics are used in our products and whether they can be recycled after use. We are incredibly concerned about combatting plastic pollution, and we believe it’s our responsibility to help facilitate the environmentally friendly disposal or recycling of the plastics in the products we supply.

Recyclable lanyards

Our plain and printed polyester lanyards are made from fully recyclable PET plastic. However, they are rarely accepted by general recycling collection unless the metal clips have been removed, so we recommend reusing them where possible.

Recycled PET can be used to produce RPET lanyards, which look and feel like our standard polyester lanyards. They can be plain or branded and can be recycled again after use.

Recyclable plastic cards

Plastic cards are made of PVC because it produces durable scratch-resistant cards that tend not to stain. PVC isn’t generally accepted by standard recycling refuse collectors and would become a toxic pollutant in landfill if included in general waste. Both options could breach GDPR if personal information is printed on the cards.

Some specialist recycling centres will accept PVC items, so when disposing of large quantities of cards it is worth sourcing a recycling centre. 

Recyclable card holders

Vinyl cardholders are also made from PVC plastic so, as with ID cards, it’s important that they are recycled.

Our rigid plastic card holders are made from polypropylene (PP) plastic, which is accepted by most recycling waste collectors.