Low-density polyethylene
LDPE is an acronym for low-density polyethylene. This type of plastic can be identified in many products we use with the resin code, or recycling number, 4. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a thermoplastic made from petroleum. It was the first grade of polyethylene, produced in 1933 by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) using a high pressure process via free radical polymerization. Its manufacture employs the same method today. Despite competition from more modern polymers, LDPE continues to be an important plastic grade.

LDPE is used to make many thin, flexible products like plastic bags for dry-cleaning, newspapers, bread, frozen foods, fresh produce and garbage. Most shrink-wrap and stretch film is also made out of LDPE, as well as coatings for paper milk cartons and disposable beverage cups. Manufacturers also use LDPE to create thin container lids, squeezable bottles and some toys.

Linear low-density polyethylene
Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) is a substantially linear polymer (polyethylene), with significant numbers of short branches, commonly made by copolymerization of ethylene with longer-chain olefins. Linear low-density polyethylene differs structurally from conventional low-density polyethylene (LDPE) because of the absence of long chain branching. The linearity of LLDPE results from the different manufacturing processes of LLDPE and LDPE. In general, LLDPE is produced at lower temperatures and pressures by copolymerization of ethylene and such higher alpha-olefins as butene, hexene, or octene. The copolymerization process produces an LLDPE polymer that has a narrower molecular weight distribution than conventional LDPE and in combination with the linear structure, significantly different rheological properties..

LLDPE has penetrated almost all traditional markets for polyethylene; it is used for plastic bags and sheets (where it allows using lower thickness than comparable LDPE), plastic wrap, stretch wrap, pouches, toys, covers, lids, pipes, buckets and containers, covering of cables, geomembranes, and mainly flexible tubing.

Polypropylene (PP), also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging and labeling, textiles (e.g., ropes, thermal underwear and carpets), stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers and automotive components

Polypropylene is used in the manufacturing piping systems; both ones concerned with high-purity and ones designed for strength and rigidity (e.g. those intended for use in potable plumbing, hydronic heating and cooling, and reclaimed water). This material is often chosen for its resistance to corrosion and chemical leaching, its resilience against most forms of physical damage, including impact and freezing, its environmental benefits, and its ability to be joined by heat fusion rather than gluing.

Polypropylene can also be made into disposable bottles to contain liquid, powdered, or similar consumer products. Plastic pails, car batteries, wastebaskets, pharmacy prescription bottles, cooler containers, dishes and pitchers are often made of polypropylene or HDPE, both of which commonly have rather similar appearance, feel, and properties at ambient temperature. A common application for polypropylene is as biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). These BOPP sheets are used to make a wide variety of materials including clear bags. When polypropylene is biaxially oriented, it becomes crystal clear and serves as an excellent packaging material for artistic and retail products. Polypropylene, highly colorfast, is widely used in manufacturing carpets, rugs and mats to be used at home. Polypropylene is widely used in ropes, distinctive because they are light enough to float in water. For equal mass and construction, polypropylene rope is similar in strength to polyester rope. Polypropylene costs less than most other synthetic fibers.

Polypropylene is also used in particular roofing membranes as the waterproofing top layer of single-ply systems as opposed to modified-bit systems. Polypropylene is most commonly used for plastic moldings, wherein it is injected into a mold while molten, forming complex shapes at relatively low cost and high volume; examples include bottle tops, bottles, and fittings. It can also be produced in sheet form, widely used for the production of stationery folders, packaging, and storage boxes. The wide color range, durability, low cost, and resistance to dirt, make it ideal as a protective cover for papers and other materials.

High-density polyethylene
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene high-density (PEHD) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. It takes 1.75 kilograms of petroleum (in terms of energy and raw materials) to make one kilogram of HDPE. HDPE is commonly recycled, and has the number "2" as its recycling symbol.


  • HDPE is resistant to many different solvents and has a wide variety of applications, including:
  • Bottle caps
  • Bottles, suitable for use as refillable bottles
  • Containers
  • Fuel tanks for vehicles
  • Laundry detergent bottles
  • Milk jugs
  • Watering cans
  • Corrosion protection for steel pipelines
  • Heat-resistant fireworks display mortars
  • Hula hoops
  • Natural gas distribution pipe systems
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic lumber
  • Storage sheds
  • Water pipes, for domestic water supply


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