Virgin vs Recycled Resins

Virgin versus Recycled Resins

The majority of reusable plastic shipping containers are fabricated from high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), recycled high density polyethylene and recycled polypropylene. The noted differences between virgin resins and recycled resins are immensely important.

When plastic is altered in its processing, it is treated with both heat and pressure. Heat is necessary to liquefy plastic to shape it, and pressure is required to form the liquid into an acceptable and uniform shape. Application of pressure and heat place a strain on the molecular structure of the plastic, and the more times this process occurs, the weaker the molecular structure eventually becomes.

Virgin resins are typically more rugged on the molecular level than resins that have been recycled, and all perform better when put through the design processes.

Should I choose virgin high density polyethylene (HDPE) or recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE) for my reusable plastic containers?

Pros associated with recycled resins:

  • A plastic shipping solution molded from recycled resin will be more competitively priced.

Cons associated with recycled resins:

  • Plastic shipping solutions molded from recycled resins are more brittle than virgin HDPE resins.
  • Shipping containers made from recycled resins may exhibit material variability that can lead to strength issues.

There is a host of plastic resins, reusable shipping solutions and container forming processes that, depending on the way they are employed, will provide a top-notch product. Reusable Transport Packaging endeavors to meld performance and cost in an effort to provide our clients maximum value for their investment.

To discuss the logistics involved in choosing between virgin HDPE/PP and recycled resins or get additional information regarding our full line of reusable products, please contact our team at 727.319.2300 or