Table 1: The SPI codes for different types of plastics and the recovery rates from total plastic solid waste2

From: Chemical recycling of waste plastics for new materials production

SPI number Full name Chemical structure Uses Currently recyclable? Density (gcm−3) Recovery Rate (%)
1 Polyethylene terephthalate Disposable bottles for drinks, medicines and many other consumer products Yes 1.38–1.40 19.5
2 Highdensity polyethylene More durable containers, such as those for detergent, bleach, shampoo or motor oil Yes 0.93–0.97 10
3 Polyvinyl chloride Piping, cables, garden furniture, fencing and carpet backing No 1.10–1.45 0
4 Lowdensity polyethylene Plastic bags, wrapping films, trays and computer components Mostly no 0.91–0.94 5
5 Polypropylene Bottle caps, reusable food containers and car parts Sometimes 0.90–0.92 1
6 Polystyrene Plastic utensils, packaging peanuts and styrofoam (EPS) Sometimes 1.04–1.11; 0.016–0.64 (EPS) 1
7 Other: for example, polycarbonate and polymethyl methacrylate Multilayer barrier films, toothbrushes, some food containers, CDs and DVDs No varies varies
  1. EPS, expanded polystyrene; SPI, Society of Plastics Industry.