Common plastics

Common plastics

Nov 02, 2018

This category includes both commodity plastics, or standard plastics, and engineering plastics.

Polyamides (PA) or (nylons) – fibers, toothbrush bristles, tubing, fishing line and low-strength machine parts such as engine parts or gun frames.

Polycarbonate (PC) – compact discs, eyeglasses, riot shields, security windows, traffic lights and lenses.

Polyester (PES) – fibers and textiles.

Polyethylene (PE) – a wide range of inexpensive uses including supermarket bags and plastic bottles.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) – detergent bottles, milk jugs and molded plastic cases.

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) – outdoor furniture, siding, floor tiles, shower curtains and clamshell packaging.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – carbonated drinks bottles, peanut butter jars, plastic film and microwavable packaging.

Polypropylene (PP) – bottle caps, drinking straws, yogurt containers, appliances, car fenders (bumpers) and plastic pressure pipe systems.

Polystyrene (PS) – foam peanuts, food containers, plastic tableware, disposable cups, plates, cutlery, compact-disc (CD) and cassette boxes.

High impact polystyrene (HIPS) – refrigerator liners, food packaging and vending cups.

Polyurethanes (PU) – cushioning foams, thermal insulation foams, surface coatings and printing rollers: currently the sixth or seventh most commonly-used plastic, for instance the most commonly used plastic in cars.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – plumbing pipes and guttering, electrical wire/cable insulation, shower curtains, window frames and flooring.

Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) – food packaging, such as: Saran.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) – electronic equipment cases (e.g. computer monitors, printers, keyboards) and drainage pipe.

Polycarbonate/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PC/ABS) – a blend of PC and ABS that creates a stronger plastic used in car interior and exterior parts, and mobile phone bodies.

Polyethylene/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PE/ABS) – a slippery blend of PE and ABS used in low-duty dry bearings.