A World Of Plastic-Type 2

Running a little behind on my way up the triangle plastic ladder. I have some house guests this week that are very interested in the whole thing. They keep asking me questions about this piece of plastic or that one… I keep telling them to read my blog! Let’s see what Type 2 has going on. Type 2 is very similar to Type 1 but it has a higher density, therefore called high-density polyethylene. You may also see it as HDPE. I sometimes mistake it with my failing eyes as HOPE. Let’s see how hopefully it really is.

Like PETE/PET, HDPE is used for lots of bottling. It has good barrier properties; it’s well suited for packaging products with a short shelf life and has great chemical resistance. You will know it best as milk, juice and water bottles like it’s counter part Type 1. The high density of this plastic also makes it ideal for household items such as shampoo, conditioner, detergent, cleaners, motor oil, and antifreeze.  It can also be found in pipe, tiles, plastic film and sheeting, buckets, crates, and oddly, recycling bins. This plastic is stronger and can be used in a more day to day item.

Due to it’s properties, Type 2 is  highly regarded at the recycling plant, like Type 1. Most, if not all programs will take Type 2 plastic and have many reuses for it. You see the leftovers all over the place as re-manufactured toys, floor tile, picnic tables, plastic rope and fencing. Besides all those great things HDPE can be used to make Tyvek. Tyvek is the brand name made by Dupont for it’s flashspun high-density fibers. You have probably fought with in when that Fed-Ex package came to your door. I can rip this open… dang… where are those scissors? Hazmat employees wear Tyvek when cleaning up those awful messes.

There aren’t too many of those warnings out there about reuse of Type 2 because it’s not in the kitchen so much. The same things are true about the reuse but who’s really reheating in motor oil bottles? In fact I have read the opposite about HDPE. It is recommended for water storage. Due to it’s opaque coloring it is ideal for keeping sun out and algae and bacteria to a minimum. But be sure that container is BPA free too.

As wonderful as Type 2 plastics are and can be, the problem remains that they are not being recycled enough. It still remains that only about 10% are recycled worldwide. That leaves a bunch of heavy, high density trash polluting the planet. Keep up the great work and tell a friend. Your babies will thank you.

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