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Types Of Recyclable Plastic & Identifying Plastic Codes

plastic lotion bottles

We all know that plastic is notoriously not recycled enough in the UK, with only 44.9% of plastic waste being recovered or recycled in 2016. But why are we not recycling all of our plastic packaging? After all, it’s never been easier to recycle your home and business waste! You can request recycling bins from your local council and there are also plenty of recycling centres around the country that collect the things that your council will not. There is no excuse to send your recyclable waste to landfill! The confusion often lies in the sheer amount of different types of recyclable plastic. How are you supposed to know if your packaging is recyclable or not?

All packaging labels should indicate whether or not the plastic packaging is recyclable or not, which is usually signified by a number.

Plastic Codes

There are 7 codes of plastic that you need to look out for when disposing of your packaging.

1 – PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
Used for single use, clear plastic drinks bottles, fruit containers, ready meal food trays and polyester textile fibres.

2 – HDPE (high density polyethylene)
Used for milk bottles, shampoo bottles, margarine tubs and household cleaning bottles.

3 – V (Vinyl) or PVC
Used for shower curtains, children’s toys, detergent bottles and medical equipment.

4 – LDPE (low density polyethylene)
Used for carrier bags and squeezy bottles.

5 – PP (polypropylene)
Used for food pots, bottle tops, yogurt pots and sauce bottles.

5 – PS (polystyrene)
Used for meat packaging trays and egg cartons.

7 – O (other)
This category refers to all other plastics that are not listed above.

Types Of Recyclable Plastic

So which of the plastic codes above can be put into your recycling system? PET and HDPE plastics are by far the most commonly used in the UK, and they are both fully recyclable. At least 92% of local councils collect PET and HDPE bottles, but some areas do not collect certain forms of PET and HDPE  (such as food trays and tubs) due to issues with sorting, so it’s best to check online with your local council to confirm this. PVC is not collected by councils, so you must dispose of this material independently. Some plastic lumber makers accept PVC, so it’s a great idea to find one nearby if you are going to be regularly using this material. Usage of PVC packaging is generally declining due to it’s non-recyclability.

LDPE carrier bags are now often collected by supermarkets for recycling, but it is generally not accepted through local council bin collections. Some recycling centres do accept it, if they have mixed plastic recycling facilities. The same applies for PP and polystyrene plastics. Plastics that fit into code 7 consist of a variety of different plastic structures. You will need to check which plastic you have (this may be indicated on the brand label) in order to know what you can do to dispose of it responsibly. Some code 7 plastics, such as PLA, are even compostable!

Here at Ampulla, we have a wide range of plastic packaging products available for individuals and both small and large businesses to use. With no minimum order and discounts on the price per unit when you buy in larger quantities, you can be sure that you’re getting the best value! Take a look at our full range of plastic packaging, including jerry cans, bottles and tubs here.

To Find Out More

We hope that you’ve found this short guide to types of recyclable plastic and plastic codes useful and that you will stop and think before throwing your plastic waste away! If you want to learn more about this subject, then we’ve found that Recycle Now is a great resource for finding out all the information you need about recycling in your area. They have tools to help you find your nearest recycling centre and advice on how to dispose of specific items such as electricals and textiles.

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Reductions On Selected Items In Our Christmas Sale

christmas sale header

Over the festive period, we thought we’d give our customers an early Christmas present, so we’re reducing prices on selected items in our Christmas Sale! Make sure to keep checking back to our sale category, as we’ll be adding new deals until the end of the month. This is your opportunity to stock up on the packaging items that you will need in the New Year (but at bargain prices) and be safe in the knowledge that it’s one less thing for you to worry about in 2019.

Our selected items that have been reduced include amber-tinted medicine bottles, hexagonal jam jars and plastic food pots. Take a look at some of our great deals below, or go straight to the Christmas Sale page to browse through all of our deals!


Our glass packaging gives your products an air of luxury and quality that plastic often struggles to convey. It’s heavier, makes a nice sound when you ‘ting’ it, as well as being fully recyclable! Our glass bottles come in a variety of attractive colours, including amber, red, green, blue and clear, and in a huge variety of sizes. We’ve got medicine bottles, jam jars and aromatherapy bottles, amongst other customer favourites.

glass products packaging sale

All prices shown above are the prices for 1 unit of the selected product. We offer further discounts on the price per unit when you buy in larger quantities.


Plastic is the more cost-effective option for business packaging and here at Ampulla, we do stock a number of recyclable plastic items, made from PET and HDPE. We’ve got food, pots, cosmetic bottles and more in our Christmas sale!

plastic products packaging sale

Make sure to order your lids and caps if you need them! We do also sell each item without closures if you don’t need them.

New deals are being added to our Christmas sale all month, so make sure to keep checking back! While you’re here, why not take a look at our brand new disposable food packaging?
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Our Disposable Food Packaging Is Ready For Party Season!

disposable food containers

The whole country is now gearing up towards Christmas, with work party plans in full swing and big retailers looking to attract Christmas shoppers to their gift selections. But let’s be honest, the best thing about this time of year is the food! Cranberries, turkey, chocolate, pigs in blankets… our mouths are watering in anticipation already! If you’re in the catering business, then this is your biggest time of year! Whether you’ll be serving up sandwiches, hor d’oeuvres, salad or cold cut meats; we’ve got you covered with our disposable food packaging.

Why choose Ampulla for your disposable food packaging?

  • No minimum order required;
  • Available in clear, black and green varieties;
  • Suitable for caterers, supermarkets and cafes;
  • Competitive tiered prices, so you’re always getting the best value for money!

If you want great value food containers ready for party season and the festive period, you need look no further than Ampulla!

The packaging you use for takeaway or buffet food can seem unimportant, but it plays a vital role in keeping your food fresh, free from contamination, heat regulated and, most importantly, looking attractive to your customers. We are increasingly aware of the change in attitudes towards single use plastic products, with many people turning to glass and aluminium alternatives. Whilst this is fantastic news for our environment and we are pleased to see this, plastic does still have a place in the packaging industry. It’s lightweight and cheap, making it perfect for the takeaway, fast food and catering industries. All of our disposable food packaging is made from PET plastic, which is recyclable, so that you can get the benefits that using plastic brings and not have to worry about adding to the plastic waste issue. This usage is dependent on your company or your customers commitment to plastic recycling, therefore we do encourage that you have a recycling scheme in place or are strongly encouraging your customers to dispose of the containers responsibly.

Clear Plastic Disposable Food Packaging

plastic food containers

Our clear PET trays and pots are great for packaging lunches on-the-go, from pasta and rice pots, to the more modern and hugely popular Buddha bowls! Our trays, pots and bowls all come complete with a matching clear press down lid to keep the food inside fresh for longer and easy to transport.

Our Clear Food Trays are available in 2 sizes: 500cc* and 1000cc. They would be an ideal item for catering companies to transport freshly prepared vol-au-vents, canapés and snacks in and lay out quickly and easily on buffet tables at events. Our Sauce Pots are equally as useful, as they can be used to dish out single servings of sauces and other condiments at large catering events. They are available in 5 different sizes: 20cc, 30cc, 50cc, 70cc and 80cc. Finally, our Salad Bowls are ideal for retailing in the meal deal market to cater to busy workers looking for a quick, convenient bite to eat. They come in 5 sizes: 250cc, 375cc, 500cc, 750cc and 1000cc.

*CC stands for cubic centimetre.

Black Plastic Disposable Food Packaging

disposable food containers

If you’re after a bolder look, then we have some black containers that might suit your taste. Our Black Salad Bowls come in 2 sizes: 500cc and 1000cc. One of our favourite items is our 7 Compartment Black Party Container, which is the ultimate party platter! It has a 7 compartments that is perfectly sized to fill with snacks such as crisps, nuts, dried fruit, as well as dips to spice them up. If sushi is more your thing, then we also have our range of sushi containers available in small, medium or large varieties. The base of the container has a textured pattern, which keeps the food within in place during transit. As well as being great for the meal deal market, these containers are suitable for placing on buffet tables at parties and events.