Polybags are a responsible packaging manufacturer. As well as producing our own biodegradable packaging and compostable packaging, we also produce a huge range of polythene products made from recyclable materials.
Polythene takes much less energy to produce than alternative forms of packaging such as paper or glass, whilst it helps to drastically reduce food waste, which produces three times more CO2 than packaging waste, along with methane, which is 23 times as damaging in accelerating climate change as the equivalent amount of CO2.
By re-using and then recycling our polythene packaging - rather than just disposing of it after a single use - we can all help to reduce waste and save on raw materials, thereby cutting greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to a greener, cleaner planet.
The vast majority of Polybags products can be recycled. On this website, these products are clearly marked with the universal recycling symbol (above), which means that the product is made from recyclable materials.
Within the recycling symbol you will find a number from 1-7. This is a resin identification code - a universal system that specifies the plastic resin from which a product is made. Numbers 1-6 specify a particular plastic resin, whilst anything that doesn't fit into one these categories is labelled '7 Other'.
Of the six main plastic types, Polybags use just three to manufacture products, with the majority made from one of two types of polyethylene: low density (LDPE) and high density (HDPE). Polyethylene is the most widely-produced plastic in the world.
Here we provide you with a handy guide to each of the recyclable plastics that Polybags produce and how you can recycle them.
High density polyethylene, or HDPE, is a lightweight but very strong plastic that is both incredibly versatile and extremely malleable.
As a result, this typically opaque plastic is used for a huge range of products, in both its rigid form (e.g. milk cartons) and its flexible form (e.g. bags), making it one of the most widely-used types of plastic today.
Low density polyethylene, or LDPE, is a strong, translucent, flexible and moisture-resistant plastic that is easy to process and low in cost.
Offering excellent product protection, LDPE is most commonly used for film packaging and is one of the popular forms of plastic packaging in the world, as well as the most widely-used material here at Polybags.
Polypropylene, or PP, is a strong, tough, moisture-resistant and versatile plastic that is used for similar applications as polyethylenes, but is generally stiffer and more heat-resistant. PP is the world's second-most widely produced plastic, after polyethylene.
Polypropylene film has the appearance of cellophane, but is cheaper, stronger, more eco-friendly, has better clarity and makes higher-quality products.
Polystyrene, or PS, is commonly-used plastic that can be found in either solid (molded) or foamed form.
A naturally clear plastic, PE in its solid form is generally hard and somewhat brittle. PE foam is a good insulator and has good damping properties. Most people would be familiar with expanded polystyrene (EPS) - a rigid, tough, closed-cell foam that offers good protection when used in packaging.
Polybags manufacture plastic products from three of the main six recycling categories, along with one product line classified as '7 Other' (see below). The other three types of plastic used in production elsewhere, but not by Polybags, are as follows:
Polyethylene Terephthalate, or PET (or PETE), is a strong, clear, lightweight plastic that belongs to the polyester family.
PET can be used to make soft and flexible fabric - when it is called polyester - or a more rigid material - usually referred to as PET - used to make a wide range of packaging, but is best known for plastic drinks bottles.
Polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC or vinyl (V), is the third most widely-produced plastic in the world, after polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
PVC comes in either as a rigid plastic - e.g. as used to make window frames - or in a more flexible form, such as that used to make clothing and music records.
The plastic resin identifier code 7 is given to all plastics that don't fit into any of one of the other six main categories.
Polybags' range of vacuum pouch bags are manufactured from a composite film made from polyamide (PA) and polyethylene (PE), meaning they are classified in this category.
The way that we recycle products is always changing, as technology evolves and more local authorities widen their recycling programmes. Most people now have a home recycling service available to them, to collect a range of recyclable packaging, including paper, aluminium, glass and plastic.
Most kerbside recycling programmes have traditionally restricted plastic recycling to rigid plastics such as bottles or trays, although more local authorities are now beginning to collect plastic bags as part of this service. This service is still not widespread, however, so it is always worth checking with your local authority - or private waste disposal provider - exactly what products you are able to recycle.
For those households unable to recycle plastic bags and film in their home recycling, most major supermarkets across the UK - including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, The Co-op and Waitrose - provide recycling points at their larger stores, where you can recycle plastic bags and some other plastic films. So always check your local store and find out what is available in your local area before you dispose of any recyclable products.