Recycling of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE or PEHD)


High-Density Polyethylene, usually shortened to HDPE or PEHD, is a plastic polymer with flexible properties which make it ideal for a wide range of applications.

High-density polyethylene, as the name suggests, has a higher specific density than low-density polyethylene, though this difference is only marginal. What really makes the difference in the physical properties of HDPE is the lack of branching, meaning it is light with a high tensile strength. Because there is no branching the structure is more closely packed, make HDPE a linear polymer. The branching can be controlled and reduced by using specific catalysts during production.

The Environmental Benefits of Recycling HDPE

The amount of plastic used in plastic bags has reduced by around 70% in the last 20 years thanks to the introduction of reusable canvas bags and using biodegradable materials, but the majority of bags are still produced from HDPE. Furthermore, there is a growing market for HDPE containers in China and India due to increased standards of living, as well as a higher demand for HDPE pipes and cables due to rapidly growing industries.