Polyethylene (Polythene) is one of the world’s most popular plastics. It is an enormously versatile polymer which is suited to a wide range of applications from heavy-duty damp proof membrane for new buildings to light, flexible bags and films.
Two major types of PE are in use in the films and flexible packaging sector – LDPE (Low Density) used generally for trays and heavier duty film such as long-life bags and sacks, poly tunnels, protective sheeting, food bags etc and HDPE (High Density) which is used for most thin gauge carrier bags, fresh produce bags and some bottles and caps.
By altering the formulation and gauge of polyethylene, the producer/converter can adjust impact and tear resistance; transparency and tactility; flexibility, formability and coating, laminating and printing capability. PE can be recycled and many bin bags, agricultural films and long-life products such as park benches, bollards and waste bins use recycled polyethylene. Due to its high calorific value, PE offers excellent energy recovery through clean incineration.