The Wheelie Bin Plastic That Keeps on Giving

The Wheelie Bin Plastic That Keeps on Giving

Polyethylene is one of the most popular plastics around today. It has many uses and most of the things in your home, and the items you buy in the supermarket probably contain polyethylene in some shape or form.

Polyethylene is what is known as a thermoplastic, which means that if it’s heated, it turns into a liquid rather than burning. When it’s in liquid form, it can be molded, injected, and cast to make many of the products we use every day from food containers, plastic bags, and of course, your faithful wheelie bin.

The beneficial properties of polyethylene

Polyethylene does not dissolve at room temperature and it’s very resistant to chemicals so it’s  useful for the storage of caustic materials that would erode metal. It’s also recyclable, affordable, durable, and versatile.

5 Common uses for polyethylene

Sandwich bags

Polyethylene is used to make the plastic film used in sandwich bags. It’s also used in freezer bags as it can stand very cold temperatures and protect the items in the bag.

Cling wrap

The cling wrap you buy from the supermarket is just polyethylene that’s been stretched several times.

Moisture barriers

The moisture barriers on constructions sites and in the crawl space under your house are made from polyethylene.

Food packaging

The plastic wrapping on your minced beef and chicken is polyethylene in a low density form. It keeps the meat fresh until you use it or freeze it. There’s also polyethylene in the bags used in bakeries to keep goods fresh. Bakery bags are different to plastic wrapping just because of the quality of the plastic that is used to make them.

Coatings

Polyethylene is also used to make the coatings on fruit juice boxes. Though the container is mostly made of cardboard with a little plastic, the outer coating that stops the cardboard from getting sopping wet and falling apart is polyethylene.

It is also used in the wrappings for the straws on small cartons of juice and if you buy a multipack, no doubt it will be present in the wrapping.

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