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How Is Hard Plastic Recyclable – Complete Guide

If you haven’t heard by now, the answer is yes — hard plastic is recyclable, so you should be using it. You’re probably thinking, “it’s not that simple,” and you would be right.

Whether or not a type of hard plastic (such as a water bottle) can be recycled depends on where you live. 1o1But no need to worry! We will explain see xq everything.

What Are Hard Plastics?

Plastics are made from petroleum products and other substances that can be turned bbbcwfs a polymer — a long chain of molecules that sticks together. There are many different plastics, but they’re usually categorized by their use: food containers or medical equipment. This article will focus on hard plastics used in consumer products like electronics and toys.

There are several types of hard plastic: polyethylene terephthalate (PET), also called PETE; high-density polyethylene (HDPE); polyvinyl chloride (PVC); acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile styrene butadiene rubber (ASBR). Each type has its characteristics based on what it’s made from and how it’s processed.

Rigid plastics can be recycled, but not all municipalities can process these materials. Sometimes, you may need to take your hard plastic items to a drop-off center instead of your curbside recycling bin.

The most important thing is to make sure that you recycle your hard plastics if it’s possible for you to do so.

Types of Hard plastics And It’s Uses.

The most common hard plastic materials that are recycled are:

Palettes, crates, shopping baskets, and carts – These items can be made from HDPE or LDPE. These products have a high value for recycling because they come in large volumes. In addition, pallets are used for many different purposes after their initial use and impact our environment when disposed of improperly.

Electronic housings – This material can be made from either HDPE or PP, depending on the application. Electronic housings are usually collected by waste electronics recycling companies which will sort them by type and then export them overseas, where they’ll be reused in new products rather than being sent to landfills or incinerators.

Bread Crates and Pallets (usually made of HDPE or PP plastic) – Most manufacturers use these two types of plastic for their crates and pallets because they are cheap, durable, and easy to work with! Unfortunately, this means there’s only natural way to recycle them is to use them again when we’re done with them!

High-Density Polyethylene tubs, containers, and buckets – This type of plastic is used in many things, from yogurt containers to detergent bottles! Since it’s so common, it would be easier for us to recycle than other types of plastic. The problem is that these containers have been contaminated by other materials, such as food waste or dirt which prevents them.

Water cooler bottles – Water cooler bottles are one of the most popular uses for hard plastic. They are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a type of plastic that can be recycled. Water cooler bottles are used for storing water and other liquids and can also be used for food storage.

How Rigid Plastic is Recycled

Method One:

  • Sorting plastics according to polymer type.
  • Shredded
  • Washed
  • Melted
  • Pelletized
  • Transformed into new goods.

Method Two:

With manual sorting to ensure all pollutants have been removed, sorting is primarily automated.

Plastic can either be shredded into flakes or melt processed into pellets before being molded into new goods after being sorted and cleaned.

Plastic comes in a wide range of varieties. While some of them can already be recycled in the UK, there are now significant ongoing investments in the technology needed to broaden the scope of plastic materials that can be recycled, including products like those used to produce flexible pouches. Even while more types of plastic are being recycled, some still end up in landfills, are burned, or are shipped overseas for recycling.

What is the use of recycled plastic?

Recycled plastic can be used to create a variety of items, including:

  • Food platters and drink bottles.
  • Polyester garment fabric.
  • Food caddies and rolling bins.
  • Carrying bags and garbage bags.
  • Wormeries and composters.
  • Car bumpers and wheel arch liners.
  • Moisture-proof membranes.
  • Reused pallets and crates.
  • Seed trays, watering cans, water butts, and flower pots.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if plastic is recyclable?

You can check the recycling symbol on your item. If it has a number in the triangle, it’s recyclable. If you need help, you can use this guide to find out if your plastic is recyclable.

Why Recycle Plastic?

Plastic cannot be re-used forever. In fact, after only a few years of use, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes microplastic pollution! Microplastic pollution has been found in almost every marine environment on Earth – including the ocean depths – and it’s also in our food chain because fish eat tiny bits of plastic too! Recycling is one of the best ways to stop this problem from getting worse.

Plastics that can be Recycled?

The following plastics can be recycled:

  • Plastic 1 (PET or PETE) – This is the clear plastic used in soda, water bottles, and yogurt containers.
  • Plastic 2 (HDPE) – This is the opaque plastic used in milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, and grocery bags.
  • Plastic 3 (PP) – This is the clear, hard plastic used for food storage containers and some squeeze bottles.
  • Plastic 4 (V) – This is the rigid, opaque plastic used in shampoo bottles, motor oil containers, and takeout food containers.
  • Plastic 5 (PS) – This is the thin, transparent plastic used for CD cases and battery casings.
  • Plastic 6 (Other Plastics) – Other plastics like PVC may also be recycled in your area.


The good news is that hard plastic can be recycled. It’s more complex than soft plastics, but it can be done if you’re willing to dig deeper into the recycling process. Check out this link for some info on what you can do to recycle your hard plastic!


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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