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Products Made of Recyclable Plastics

In 1907 Leo Bakeland patented Bakelite, the first fully synthetic polymer. The market for recyclable plastics has grown rapidly since Bakeland's discovery. Today, chemists are examining the potential for new applications of polymers including molecular information storage and the conduction and storage of light and electricity. More than half of American chemists and chemical engineers are employed by polymer-related industries. The recyclable plastics industry in the United States employs more than three million and contributes more than one hundred billion dollars to the U.S. gross national product.

Examples of products made of recyclable plastics

Recycling code

Polymer resin

Plastic products


Polyethylene Terephthalate
peanut butter jars, salad dressing bottles, soft drink bottles


High density Polyethylene (HDPE) toys, liquid detergent bottles, motor oil containers, toys, plastic bags; milk, water, and juice containers


Polyvinyl Chloride or Vinyl (PVC-V) clear food packaging, shampoo bottles, vegetable oil bottles, blister packages


Low density Polyethylene (LDPE) frozen food bags, grocery bags, shrink-wrap, garment bags, bread bags


Polypropylene (PP) yogurt containers, margarine, tubs, medicine bottles, refrigerated containers, most bottle tops


Polystyrene (PS) coffee cups, throw-away utensils, cafeteria trays, grocery store meat trays, fast-food sandwich containers, video cassette cases, compact disk jackets


Multi-layer Plastics "squeezable" containers, ketchup bottles, syrup containers

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