High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Polyethylene (High Density) HDPE

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 membranes 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 films 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.

There are other variants on these two main typesn. All offer an good vapour or moisture barrier qualities and are chemically inert.

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/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.


Chemical drums, jerricans, carboys, toys, picnic ware, household and kitchenware, cable insulation, carrier bags, food wrapping material.


Flexible, translucent/waxy, weatherproof, good low temperature toughness (to -60’C), easy to process by most methods, low cost, good chemical resistance.


High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bottles are a popular packaging choice for the milk and fresh juice markets. In the UK, for example, around four billion HDPE milk bottles are produced and purchased each year.

HDPE provides a whole host of benefits to manufacturers, retailers and consumers.


Recyclable: HDPE bottles are 100% recyclable so material can be used over and over again

Sustainable: HDPE offers opportunities to integrate recycled material back into the supply chain

Easy to lightweight: HDPE bottles offer significant lightweighting opportunities

Adaptable: the only bottle type of plastic that can be used as a monolayer bottle for pasteurised milk, or as a coextruded bottle with barrier layers for UHT or sterilised milk

Easy to use: the only type of packaging that allows an integrated handle and pouring aperture to enable controlled grip and pour

Safe and secure: the only type of packaging that can have either an external tamper evident closure, or an induction heat seal closure, to prevent leaking, preserve product freshness and show up evidence of tampering