Guide to plastics and their recycling

How to tell different plastics apart and what they can be recycled into.

How does the exchange process work?

You care deeply for the environment and so you make the effort every day to sort your plastic properly for recycling.

But do you really know your plastics? And do you know just how many things can be made from recycling them?

Find out with Are you R!

Every different type of plastic has its own symbol: let’s learn to recognize them.


1. Water and soft drink bottles, textile fibre like fleece

This plastic is polyethylene terephthalate, aka Arnite, and is identified by the PET or PETE symbol or by the plastic recycling triangle symbol with the number 1 in the middle.


What can it be recycled into?
– New water or soft drink bottles and trays (100% safe and food grade certified)
– Car interiors
– Sleeping bags
– Clothing
– Packaging strapping
– Expanded insulation boards and sandwich panels for the inside of wind turbine blades


2. Window frames

This plastic is polyvinyl chloride and is identified by the PVC or C symbol or by the plastic recycling triangle symbol with the number 3 in the middle.

What can it be recycled into?
– Watering systems
– Pipes and fittings
– Rainwater drains


3. Frozen food bags, plastic bags and stretch wrap
This plastic is low density polyethylene and is identified by the LDPE symbol or by the plastic recycling triangle symbol with the number 4 in the middle.

What can it be recycled into?
– Bin liners
– Plastic bags
– Stretch wrap
– Agricultural wrap
– Agricultural / nursery irrigation pipes


4. Ketchup bottles or bottles used for cosmetics, old car batteries

This plastic is polypropylene, aka Moplen, and is identified by the PP symbol or by the plastic recycling triangle symbol with the number 5 in the middle.

What can it be recycled into?
– Rugs, rope and tape
– Heat-shrink wrapping film and sheets
– Bottle crates
– Car battery cases
– Car industry parts (bumpers, dashboards, etc.)
– Bottle tops


5. Polystyrene
This is identified by the PS symbol or by the plastic recycling triangle symbol with the number 6 in the middle.

What can it be recycled into?
– Coat hangers
– Packaging
– Insulation boards for use in building
– Household appliance insulation, such as in fridges


6. And what about all the other plastics that don’t get their own specific code, or combinations thereof?
These are identified by the O symbol or by the plastic recycling triangle symbol with the number 7 in the middle.
These plastics can be recycled.

What can they be recycled into?
– Plastic benches
– Fencing
– Garden furniture
– Posts / signs

Behind every good deed is the right information: now you know what each plastic can be made into once recycled.Keep up the good work recycling your plastic!