When plastic is mentioned these days, many people think of all the articles printed in the press concerning how the man-made material is damaging the environment and the urgent need for a reduction in the use of throwaway plastic items.

There are images online and in newspapers of turtles chewing on plastic that has been left on beaches and seals stuck in plastic wrapping in the sea. The issue here isn’t the plastic itself but, the way people are disposing of it and a lack of education into the many types of plastic and whether or not they are recyclable.

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We all need to do our bit to reduce the use of disposable plastic. Firstly it helps to recognise the types of plastic that are around us:

Types of plastic

Below are the 7 most popular types of plastic and their uses:

  • Acrylic or Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) – Used in the production of acrylic mirrors and acrylic plexiglass due to its shatterproof properties.

  • Polycarbonate (PC) – An extremely tough type of plastic, Polycarbonate plastic is in an extensive range of products including greenhouses, DVDs, police riot equipment and sunglasses.

  • Polyethylene (PE) – This is the most common plastic and comes in many densities. In its many forms it can be used to manufacture plastic bags, gas pipes, plastic bottles, folding chairs and biomaterial for hip, knee, and spine implants to name but a few items.

  • Polypropylene (PP) – This is the second most widely produced synthetic plastic. This type of plastic can be used to make automotive parts and food containers.

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET) – This plastic material is in fibres for clothing, food containers and glass fibre for engineering resins.

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – The firm form of PVC is frequently used in making construction materials, doors, windows, bottles and non-food packaging. The softer and more flexible form of PVC is in plumbing products, clothing, medical tubing, and other similar products.

  • Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) – This type of plastic is typically used in the refrigeration and automotive industries but is also in products such as boxes, protective headgear and children toys.

There are more types of plastic too so it’s easy to get confused about which type you can still buy and not damage the environment. There are two main points to help here:

  • Buy plastic that can be recycled later on
  • Buy products made from recycled material

If you’re buying a product, have a look at the type of plastic it is made from or the container it may come in. Is there a label on it saying it can be recycled? If not, think twice about purchasing the product. Businesses will soon change their ideas on the material they use to make items and how they package them if people are put off purchasing them.

There are also an abundance of products out there now that are made from recycled plastic including toys, packaging, piping and promotional products. At bmt Promotions we endeavour to use recyclable or recycled materials whenever possible to create our bespoke products. Head over to our next blog “Environmentally Friendly Plastic Promotional Products” to look at the items we can provide to help create brand awareness for your business and help the environment too.

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