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Know Your Plastic – Decoding the UK Plastic Packaging Numbers

Have you ever noticed the small numbers within the recycling symbol on your plastic items? These are the UK plastic recycling numbers, and understanding them can make a huge difference in how we treat our waste. This guide will break down each number, helping you recycle right and contribute to a cleaner planet.

1. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)

PET is widely recycled. It is commonly used in bottles and jars, such as, the Boston Round and Tall Boston Round, Veral, Sirop bottles, and PetPackers.

2. HDPE (High-density polyethylene)

HDPE is widely recycled and used for a range of products, including the Duma range.

3. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)

PVC requires special processing and isn’t widely recycled. It can often be found in car parts, cling film, and some toys.

4. LDPE (Low-density polyethylene)

LDPE is commonly in plastic bags and squeezable bottles. It can be recycled at specialist recycling points.

5. PP (Polypropylene)

PP is widely recycled and often used in closures, caps, airless bottles and dispensers.

6. PS (Polystyrene)

Recycling is limited for PS options. Commonly found in Styrofoam and disposable cutlery.


Resins not included in 1-6. A variety of plastics; check local guidelines for recycling options.


Understanding the UK plastic recycling numbers is more than a lesson in waste management; it’s a step towards eco-responsibility. As we strive for a greener planet, these numbers serve as a guide, helping each of us play our part more effectively. Always consult your local recycling guidelines, and let’s pledge to reduce, reuse, and recycle diligently.