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A thermoplastic polymer, made by the chemical industry and used in a wide variety of applications, including packaging, textiles (e.g. ropes, Under Armour, thermal underwear, and carpets), stationery, plastics parts, and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes.
Polypropylene is commonly recycled, and has the number "5" as its resin identification code: the number 5 surrounded by a recycling symbol, with the letters"P P" below.
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.
In 2007, the global HDPE market reached a volume of more than 30 million tons.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a thermoplastic made from oil. 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.
LDPE is commonly recycled and has the number "4" as its recycling symbol.
Polystyrene (IUPAC Poly (1-phenylethane - 1,2-diyl)), sometimes abbreviated PS, is an aromatic polymer made from the aromatic monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is commercially manufactured from petroleum by the chemical industry. Polystyrene is one of the most widely used kinds of plastic.
Polystyrene can be recycled and has the number "6" as its recycling symbol. Unrecycled polystyrene, which does not biodegrade, is often abundant in the outdoor environment, particularly along shores and waterways., and is a form of pollution.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) (chemical formula (C8H8 . C4H6 . C3H3N)n) is a common thermoplastic used to make light rigid, molded products such as piping (for example plastic pressure pipe systems), musical instruments (most notably recorders and plastic clarinets), golf club heads (used for its good shock absorbance), automotive body parts, wheel covers, enclosures, protective head gear, buffer edging for furniture and joinery panels., airsoft BBs and toys, including Lego bricks. It can also be recycled.
Polycarbonates are a particular group of thermoplastic polymers. They are easily worked, molded, and thermoformed; as such, these plastics are very widely used in the modern chemical industry. Their interesting features (temperate resistance, impact resistance, and optical properties) position them between commodity plastics and engineering plastics.
Their plastic identification code is 7.
Solid nylon is used for mechanical parts such as machine screws, gears, and other low-to-medium-stress components. previously cast in metal. Engineering-grade nylon is processed by extrusion, casting, and injection molding. Solid nylon is used in hair combs. Type 6/^ Nylon 101 is the common commercial grade of nylon, and Nylon 6 is the most common commercial grade of molded nylon. Nylon is available in glass-filled variants which increase structural and impact strength and rigidity, and molybdenum sulfide-filled variants which increase lubricity.
Polyvinyl chloride, (IUPAC Poly(chloroethanediyl)) commonly abbreviated PVC, is the third most widely used thermoplastic polymer after polyethylene and polypropylene. In terms of revenue generated, it is one of the most valuable products of the chemical industry. Around the world, over 50% of PVC manufactured is used in construction. As a building material, PVC is cheap, durable, and easy to assemble. The symbol, or 'SPI code', for polyvinyl chloride developed by the Society of the Plastics Industry so that items can be labeled for easy recycling is 3.
Polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes written poly(ethylene terephthalate)), commonly abbreviated PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P), is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food, and other liquid containers: thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination with glass fiber.
While most thermoplastics can, in principle, be recycled, PET bottle recycling is more practical than many other plastic applications. The primary reason is that plastic carbonated soft drink bottles and water bottles are almost exclusively PET, which makes them more easily identifiable in a recycle stream. PET has a resin identification code of 1.