PE - Polyethylene
Recycling HDPE is a pretty simple process. The bales are broken apart and ground into small flakes. These flakes are then washed and floated to removed and heavy (Sinkable) contaminants. This cleaned flake is then dried in a stream of hot air and may be boxed and sold in that form. More sophisticated plastic plants may reheat these flakes, add pigment to change the color and run the material through a pelletizer. This equipment forms little beads of plastic that can then be reused in injection molding presses to create new products. Some end uses for recycled HDPE are plastic pipes, lumber, flower pots, trash cans, or formed back into non food application bottles.
LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene - Many plastic bags. Shrink wrap, garment bags. It is chemically similar to HDPE but it is less dense and more flexible. Most polyethylene film is made from LDPE which you often see as plastic bags and grocery sacks. This scrap may be clear or pigmented and it is hand sorted and baled at recycling processing plants.
Recycling LDPE is verry similar to HDPE except special grinders are used to handle the thin films. The films are often washed and re-pelletized or used directly to make new products. Some end uses for recycled LDPE are plastic trash bags and grocery sacks, plastic tubing, agricultural film, and plastic lumber.
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