Plastic Types and Uses


There are seven common types of plastic that most consumers come into contact with on a daily basis. And, each type has a different job. As a result, it is important to have a basic understanding of each so you can make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing plastic products for your home.

Here are the most common types of plastic in use today and what they’re used for.    

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET)

Polyethylene Terephthalate is one of the most commonly used plastics for packaging food and liquids. It is considered safe for such practices by the Natural Resources Defense Council and as such, it is the plastic of choice for things like single-use water bottles, 2-liter soda bottles, cooking oil bottles, and peanut butter jars. PETE, or PET, is also a highly recyclable plastic and as such, it is often remade into other products, including textiles and fabrics.

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

High density polyethylene is a sturdier type of plastic that’s commonly used for packaging products like liquid laundry detergent, yogurt, and milk. It’s also used to make things like hard hats, bottle caps, food storage containers, and backpack frames. It is a highly durable and rigid type of plastic that is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 176 degrees, making it dishwasher safe.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride is more commonly known as PVC and it is used to make things like plastic plumbing pipes, outdoor furniture, siding, flooring products, and Saran wrap. Because of the potential carcinogenic nature of PVC with prolonged exposure to heat, it is not recommended for use as a food storage container.

Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Low density polyethylene has a high resistance to chemicals, acids, greases, and alcohol-based products and this is why it is most commonly used to make trash bags and can liners. It is also commonly used to make grocery bags, produce bags, dry cleaning bags, and plastic film. It is also highly recyclable.  

Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene is considered a non-bioaccumulative, BPA-free plastic. This makes it a commonly-used plastic in the manufacturing of food containers, plastic drinking straws, bottle caps, and reusable food storage bags. It is also commonly used to make products via injection molding.

Polystyrene (PS)

Polystyrene is most commonly used to make things like packaging pellets or "peanuts," cups, plastic tableware, and "clam shell" containers used for take-out food. This is a foam-like plastic that’s commonly referred to as Styrofoam®.

"Other" Plastic Types

Plastic products like Tupperware, LEXAN, and other popular food storage containers are made containing plastic commonly referred to as "other," meaning that they can be made of any of the several different types of plastic polymers.

Need High-Quality Plastic Tube? Call US Cast Today

US Cast is one of the country’s top plastics manufacturers. We specialize in the production of custom acrylic plastic tube and rods. If you have an application that requires the uncompromised durability and longevity of plastic, contact us today.

We will custom fabricate clear plastic tube and rods for any application or purpose. To learn more about the qualities of our premium plastics or to place a custom order, just give us a call today at 856-347-2342 or connect with us on Facebook. We look forward to helping you.


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