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> PET, HDPE, MDPE, LDPE - What's it all mean?
Hazelnut
post Sep 15 2003, 10:23 AM
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I think it would be helpful to have a sticky on the different types & definitions/descriptions of plastic containers.

i.e.

PET: Polyethylene Terephthalate

HDPE: High Density Polyethylene

MDPE: Medium Density Polyethylene

LDPE: Low Density Polyethylene

But,...what does all of that mean? What is the description of them? What are the differences, advantages/disadvantages of each?

Alyssa's Soap Cottage had this to say about PET:

"PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic resin and a form of polyester. PET is the type of plastic labeled with the #1 code on or near the bottom of bottles and containers.

Manufacturers use PET plastic to package products because of its strength, thermo-stability and transparency. Customers choose PET because it is inexpensive, lightweight, resealable, shatter-resistant and recyclable."


Are there any packaging/plastic experts out there that could shed some light on this for us? About all I know is that the medium & high density are harder to 'squeeze' than the low.
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Rebecca-VT
post Sep 15 2003, 10:25 AM
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I'm going to move this over to cosmetics, but to start with here is a good chart:

http://www.oshun.ca/pchart.html
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Hazelnut
post Sep 15 2003, 10:28 AM
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Thanks Rebecca, wasn't sure where to post it.
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Rebecca-VT
post Sep 15 2003, 10:30 AM
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No problem- some people don't go into OT, so I didn't want anyone to miss it :D
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Allira
post Sep 15 2003, 04:39 PM
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Heres another one
http://www.bottlepeople.com.au/docplasticsinbots.htm
There is a recycling code chart there too

HTH

Karyn
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Hazelnut
post Sep 16 2003, 07:45 AM
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Thank you SO much. Ask and you shall receive, I say. I still would like to know what the advantages/disadvantages are of these.
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Allira
post Sep 16 2003, 09:01 AM
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Lissa, do you have anything specific you want to know?

I have a plastics guru (stepdad) on hand if there is a particular thing you need to know.
He designs cosmetic and shampoo bottles etc. Comes in handy on the odd occasion :D

HTH

Karyn
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Hazelnut
post Sep 16 2003, 03:52 PM
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No, nothing specific really. Just which ones are better for what products. How to tell them apart when looking at them. I know that there are 1's, 2', 3's imprinted on the bottoms of all of mine. What does that mean? Is that the way to tell if they're HDPE, PET, LDPE, MDPE? Which ones are better for products that use EO's?
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Allira
post Sep 16 2003, 04:29 PM
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The little numbers on the bottom are usually recycling codes. Dont know if itss the same in the States, but over here the numbers are in little triangles. That url I gave you has another link that takes you to a recycling code description. It comes in very handy. By using the recycling code, you can tell what type of plastic it is. The chart also tells you what the plastics can be used for.
Hope that makes sense? Its early here, I need coffee :shock:

If you need more, just let me know,

Smiles

Karyn
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jorjeni
post Sep 21 2003, 02:04 AM
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I work for a plastic bottle(blow molding) company as a process mechanic. Which means I actually run the machines that make the bottles if anything goes wrong that is nothing electric it is my job to fix it. We make Mrs. Butterworth bottles, the ez squeeze(for the purple and green ketup) all most all of the ketup bottles out there, Heinz 57 etc.... We just make the bottles not the stuff that goes in it. The codes on the bottom of the bottle can mean different things not all PET bottle will have the number 1 on the bottom.

We make a PET bottle that has a number 7 on the bottom because we make a special bottle. Mostly your ketup bottles.
Anyway here is quick rundown for you I hope it helps


Your PET or PETE bottles(1)
Clarity, strength, toughness, barrier to gas and moisture, resistance to heat
Plastic soft drink, water, sports drink, beer, mouthwash, catsup and salad dressing bottles. Peanut butter, pickle, jelly and jam jars.

Your HDPE(2)
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is used to make bottles for milk, juice, water and laundry products. Unpigmented bottles are translucent, have good barrier properties and stiffness, and are well suited to packaging products with a short shelf life such as milk.
Milk, water, juice, cosmetic, shampoo, dish and laundry detergent bottles; yogurt and margarine tubs; cereal box liners; grocery, trash and retail bags.
Your LDPE(4)
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE).Used predominately in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility and relative transparency, making it popular for use in applications where heat sealing is necessary.

Dry cleaning, bread and frozen food bags, squeezable bottles, e.g. honey, mustard.

Your PP(5)
Polypropylene (PP). Polypropylene has good chemical resistance, is strong, and has a high melting point making it good for hot-fill liquids
Catsup bottles, yogurt containers and margarine tubs, medicine bottles

Your PP and PET (7)

Use of this code indicates that the package in question is made with a resin other than the others listed above, or is made of more than one resin listed above or others not mentioned(there are 6 total didn't mention them all cause they do not pertain to the question), and used in a multi-layer combination.
some citrus juice and catsup bottles.


Our best bet is the HDPE(2) you can get this in Clear or even colored, frosted and PETE
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Hazelnut
post Sep 21 2003, 08:57 AM
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Thank you so much for you help jorjeni.
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mayfaire
post Sep 23 2003, 05:20 PM
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lissa,

what a coincidence . . . i was researching this earlier today :wink: i found a handy dandy chart on this site:

http://americanplasticscouncil.org/benefit...odes/resin.html

it lists the properties of each type of plastic and the types of recycled products that can be made from them (but, of course, no cons listed here. head over to the oshun chart for that info).

cheers,
mayfaire
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Hazelnut
post Sep 23 2003, 05:46 PM
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thank you mayfaire. Good info.
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