PET vs LDPE vs HDPE PCR Resin: Benefits and Applications of Each Type

PET vs LDPE vs HDPE PCR Resin: Benefits and Applications of Each Type

By Michael Kralstein | Post Consumer Recycled Resin

Jun 07

Whether it's PET (polyethylene terephthalate) vs LDPE (low density polyethylene) vs HDPE (high-density polyethylene) PCR (post-consumer recycled) resin, it's all about keeping waste out of landfills and giving used plastics new life. However, each class of plastic — PET vs LDPE vs HDPE PCR resin — offer different benefits and are used for different applications. Continue reading to learn more about how PET vs LDPE vs HDPE PCR are used and the benefits of closing the loop with PCR content.

PET - Polyethylene Terephthalate  

Virgin PET or Virgin Polyethylene Terephthalate is a raw, petroleum-based material regularly used for:

  • Water bottles
  • Soda bottles
  • Salad dressing and containers
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    Biscuit trays
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    Salad domes  
1 PET recycling symbol

In addition, PET can be used in fabric or fiber applications (referred to as polyester), such as sports jerseys and carpeting.

Post-Consumer Recycled PET & RPET Applications

In the United States, approximately 1.8 billion pounds of PET bottles and containers are recovered each year for recycling. This makes PET one of the most recycled types of plastics in the United States.

Once PET is recycled, it becomes RPET or PET PCR resin and finds new life in a variety of different applications — including:

  • Films and sheet
  • Automotive components
  • Fabric for T-Shirts, underwear, sweaters and athletic shoes
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    Polyester carpet fibers
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    Upholstery and luggage
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    Fiberfill for winter coats and sleeping bags
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    Many of the applications of virgin PET

LDPE — Low Density Polyethylene

LDPE or Low Density Polyethylene is a type of thermoplastic created from the monomer ethylene. The virgin form of LDPE can be used for a variety of products, including:

  • Garbage bags
  • Cling Wrap
  • Squeeze Bottles
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    Mulch Film
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    Irrigation Tubing
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    Refuse Bags

Due to its flexibility and other properties, LDPE is used to manufacture films, such as produce bags, garment bags, bubble wraps, and foams.

Post-Consumer Recycled LDPE Benefits and Uses

Whenever any plastic is recycled and reused, it results in environmental benefits. However, when LDPE is recycled and the PCR resin is reused, it results in the most greenhouse gas savings. Recycled LDPE can be used to produce an array of different products, including:

  • Packaging, film, and bags
  • Bottles and caps
  • Toys
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    Pipe and cable jacketing
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    General commodity items
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    Plumbing pipes, plumbing joints, and irrigation components

HDPE — High Density Polyethylene

As the name suggests, HDPE has a higher density than low density polyethylene. This plastic is the most versatile, which makes it ideal for a vast range of applications, including:

  • Freezer bags
  • Shopping bags
  • Ice cream containers
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    Milk bottles
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    Shampoo
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    Juice bottles
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    Buckets
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    Detergent and chemical bottles
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    Crates
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    Rigid agricultural pipes

Post-Consumer Recycled HDPE Benefits and Uses

HDPE is one of the easiest plastic polymers to recycle with around 30 million tons recycled a year. It can be used to produce a long list of products, including:

  • Toys and playground equipment
  • Outdoor patio furniture
  • Recycling bins
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    Plastic lumber
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    Piping
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    Rope
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    Automobile parts
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    Plastic storage containers
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    Trash cans

What Are the Benefits of Using PET, LDPE & HDPE PCR Resin

When you use PCR resins or use products made with PCR resins — like AAA Polymer's PCR can liners — you can take huge strides toward environmental sustainability. In addition to helping the environment, using PET, LDPE, and HDPE resins will result in:

  • Cost savings - many PCR resins can present significant cost savings over using virgin content.
  • Market differentiator - Using PCR resins is an excellent way to set your business and products apart from the competition offering similar products.
  • Consumers will pay more from sustainable companies - According to Nielsen Global study, 51% of Baby Boomers and 72% of Generation Z will pay more for services and products from companies committed to making a positive environmental impact.
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    Reduced carbon footprint - Research suggests using recycled plastics can reduce the carbon footprint of a company from 30% to 50%
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    Reach reduction goals - Switching to PCR resins is an effective way for organizations looking to reach aggressive reduction goals.
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    Closed loop recycling - When you implement PCR resins into your flow and products, you can close the loop on your business recycling efforts. Closed-loop recycling programs are designed to continually recycle and reuse materials over and over.

Contact AAA Polymer for PET, LDPE, HDPE PCR Resin

Whether you're using PET PCR, LDPE PCR, or HDPE PCR resins, it can transform your business and bolster your bottom line. And whether you're looking for can liners made with PCR content or PCR pellets, AAA Polymer can help.

Contact AAA Polymer today to learn more about our innovative solutions.

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About the Author

Michael Kralstein started working in sales full time for AAA Polymer in February 2000. In 2006, he became the Sales Manager of our can liner division. He currently manages all aspects related to can liners.

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