SPI resin identification coding system

This page lists of the various symbols in the SPI resin identification coding system group.

The SPI resin identification coding system is a set of symbols placed on plastics to identify the polymer type. It was developed by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in 1988, and is used internationally. The primary purpose of the codes is to allow efficient separation of different polymer types for recycling. Separation must be efficient because the plastics must be recycled separately. Even one item of the wrong type of resin can ruin a mix.

The symbols used in the code consist of arrows that cycle clockwise to form a rounded triangle and enclosing a number, often with an acronym representing the plastic below the triangle. When the number is omitted, the symbol is known as the universal Recycling Symbol, indicating generic recyclable materials. In this case, other text and labels are used to indicate the material(s) used. Previously recycled resins are coded with an "R" prefix (for example, a PETE bottle made of recycled resin could be marked as RPETE using same numbering)

Symbols in this group:

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) (chemical formula (C8H8)x· (C4H6)y·(C3H3N)z) is a common thermoplastic. Its glass transition temperature is approximately 105 °C (221 °F). ABS is amorphous and therefore has no true melting point.

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High-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene high-density (PEHD)

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polyethylene high-density (PEHD) is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum.

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LDPE (low density polyethylene)

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is a thermoplastic made from the monomer ethylene.

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Miscellaneous Plastics

Other plastics, such as acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate, and polylactic acid (a bioplastic), and multilayer combinations of different plastics.

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PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)

Polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes written poly(ethylene terephthalate)), commonly abbreviated PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P, is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers.

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Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP), also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging and labeling, textiles (e.g., ropes, thermal underwear and carpets), stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types, laboratory equipment, loudspeakers, automotive components, and polymer banknotes

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Polystyrene (PS)

Polystyrene (PS) (pron.: /ˌpɒliˈstaɪriːn/) is a synthetic aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid petrochemical.

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V (Vinyl) or PVC

Polyvinyl chloride, commonly abbreviated PVC, is the third-most widely produced plastic, after polyethylene and polypropylene.

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