The most common types of recyclable plastics are polyethylene terephthalate and high-density polyethylene, but many other types of plastics are recyclable, including polyvinyl chloride, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. These six types of recyclable plastics determine the first six resin codes found at the bottom of plastic containers.
The symbols and resin codes for polyethylene terephthalate and high-density polyethylene are PETE and HDPE, and 1 and 2 respectively. Polythene terephthalate is recycled into products such as bags, carpets and bottles, while high-density polyethylene is recycled into detergent bottles and drainage pipes.
While the other types of recyclable plastics are not common in products found in homes, they are represented in the same manner and on the same resin code scale as polythene terephthalate and high-density polyethylene. The codes 3, 4, 5 and 6 found on plastic products to represent polyvinyl chloride, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, respectively.