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PP

Polypropylene

Learn more about this material, including recovery and recycling and which Dart products are made from it.

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WHAT IS POLYPROPYLENE?

Polypropylene is a valuable, versatile plastic from the polyolefin family, known for its durability, crack-resistance and potential to be microwaved. Products made from polypropylene are marked by a “5” within a solid triangle – its resin identification code. This is usually found on or near the bottom of the product.

Polypropylene starts as a liquid monomer. It’s polymerized, making it a stable, solid polymer that is manufactured by extrusion, thermoforming or injection molding.

Extrusion

forces melted plastic through a mold before the plastic is cooled.

Thermoforming

requires laying an extruded sheet of plastic over a mold. Then heat and suction are used to form the plastic into the shape of the mold. Once shaped, these sheets are cooled and trimmed to create the finished product.

Injection molding

is similar to extrusion; however, rather than forcing melted plastic through a mold, the plastic is forced into a mold cavity. The product is then cooled, ejected from the mold and trimmed.

RECOVERING & RECYCLING POLYPROPYLENE

Clear, thermoformed polypropylene without ink or labels is accepted for recycling throughout most of the US and Canada. Packaging that is less than 2”x2”x2” or black in color is unlikely to be recovered at typical sorting facilities.

For the most accurate information, we recommend checking with your local municipality or waste hauler to see if polypropylene is accepted in your community’s recycling program. You may also search for polypropylene recycling by zip code at Earth911.

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