High Density PolyEthylene (HDPE)
HDPE is an acronym for High Density PolyEthylene and is a thermoplastic prepared from ethylene by a catalytic process. The global market for HDPE in 2007 is around 30 million tons.
What is HDPE’s plastic number?
The recycling number for HDPE is #2.
HDPE is a very commonly recycled type of plastic and is well accepted in most recycling centers.
What are HDPE’s properties?
- High tensile strength (maximum stress a material can withstand)
- Density above 0.95 – 0.97 g/cm3 (floats in water)
- High heat resistant (max. temperature around 120 Â°C)
- Excellent resistance to chemicals and solvents
- High rigidity
- Meets FDA’s standard for direct food contact
What is HDPE primarily used for?
- More than 8 million tons of HDPE are used toward blow-molded containers such as milk jugs, juice containers, detergent bottles, motor oil bottles, trash bins, etc. That is nearly one third of HDPE’s annual production worldwide.
- A large portion of recycled HDPE plastic is made into composite wood or plastic lumber.
- Toys! One third of all toys are manufactured using HDPE. Example of a HDPE toy (click to view image).
- Plastic bags with #2 label
What are some other products made from HDPE?
- Outdoor furniture (such as Adirondack chairs)
- Large drums (for storing oils and chemicals)
- Storage sheds
- Playground equipment
- Paint buckets
- Watering cans
- Cutting boards
- Lunch trays
- Recycled plastic furniture
- HDPE Bottles and containers
- Folding tables and chairs
- Pipes (water, natural gas, etcâ€¦)
- High density polyethylene mortars (for pyrotechnic)