- PET or PETE: Polyethylene Terephthalate
PET is commonly used for soft drink and water bottles, cooking oil bottles and peanut butter containers. PET is the most widely recycled plastic.
- HDPE: High-Density Polyethylene
Identifies milk, cider and water jugs, detergent, fabric softener, bleach bottles and grocery bags. HDPE is slightly waxy and semi-rigid. It does not crack. It floats in water.
- PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride
Also abbreviated V, PVC is used in salad dressing bottles, vegetable oil bottles and mouthwash bottles. PVC is smooth, scratches easily and sinks in water.
- LDPE: Low-Density Polyethylene
LDPE is used in flexible bags for dry cleaning, trash, produce, bread and shrink wrap. Recycled LDPE often is used to make grocery bags.
- PP: Polypropylene
PP usually is found in drinking straws, battery cases, some dairy tubs, bottle labels and caps, and rope. PP stretches into filaments and emits a chemical smell when burned.
- PS: Polystyrene
PS and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) both are No. 6 plastics. PS and EPS are commonly used in packaging peanuts and other packaging materials, and in plastic utensils, meat and egg trays. PS sinks in water; EPS floats.
Other plastics often are made of multiple resins or layers of different types of plastics. These may include microwavable packages, snack bags and industrial plastics.
Source: Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Cedar Falls