What is HDPE?

What is HDPEHigh-density polyethylene (HDPE) is one of the most commonly used plastics in the United States. Labeled as #2 plastic, it is typically found in milk jugs, plastic bags and refillable plastic bottles. In addition to plastic lumber and recycled plastic furniture, recycled HDPE is used to manufacture lawn and garden products, buckets, crates, office products and automobile parts.

HDPE plastic has several properties that make it ideal as a packaging and manufacturing product. It’s stronger than standard polyethylene, acts as an effective barrier against moisture and remains solid at room temperature. It resists insects, rot and other chemicals. HDPE creates no harmful emissions during its production or during its use by the consumer.  Also, HDPE leaks no toxic chemicals into the soil or water.

 Recycling contributes to reduction in resource consumption and pollution. Over 80% of U.S. households have access to a plastics recycling program. By recycling your #2 HDPE plastic waste, you are helping to create new, reusable, eco-friendly products and keep millions of pounds of waste from entering our landfills. For information on recycling in your area, contact your local waste management organization.


Fun Facts

  • In 2009, 94% of Americans have access to plastic bottle recycling - Keep America Beautiful Recycling 10 plastic bottles saves enough energy to power a laptop computer for over 24 hours. - Environmental Protection Agency
  • Enough plastic is produced in the US each year to shrink wrap Texas. - Benefits of Recycling
  • Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy than incinerating it. - Recycling Facts
  • About 28% of HDPE milk jugs and water bottles are recycled. - Environmental Protection Agency

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