Wholesale Distributors of Plastic Bottles, Caps, Jars & Accessories

LDPE Plastic

What is LDPE Plastic?

Natural LDPE is very flexible and translucent in appearance. It's a soft, flexible, lightweight plastic material, noted for its low temperature flexibility, toughness, and corrosion resistance. This allows the consumer to have a greater experience in seeing the contents and product level as well as holding and squeezing the packaging.

In comparison, it is more malleable than high density polyethylene (HDPE), especially popular with customers looking to have squeezy packaging.

Please note: it is important to check the compatibility of your product due to the low-density nature of the polyethylene or to seek expert advice. Generally, it is not suited for applications where stiffness, high temperature resistance and structural strength are required.

What does LDPE stand for?

Low density polyethylene, commonly shortened to LDPE, is a type of polyethylene defined by a density range of 917–930 kg/m3 . It is resistant to impact, moisture and offers good chemical resistance.

What is LDPE plastic used for?

LDPE is used for manufacturing various containers, dispensing and squeeze bottles, tubing, plastic parts of computer components, moulded laboratory equipment and many caps and closures. It is robust enough to be almost unbreakable.

It’s most common use is in plastic bags for food shopping and also in the dry cleaning plastic covers that protect your newly cleaned clothes.

Commercially, it’s mainly used as plastic film and packaging to protect a number of products, using it’s tough, flexible and transparent qualities.

LDPE Plastic Recycling Process

During the recycling process, used LDPE is chopped up into small pieces and then formed into pellets. These pellets can then be turned into a variety of products and may have a small amount of virgin LDPE added to improve tensile strength and reliability. Many recycled LDPE products will be black in colour as it’s easier to turn clear plastic black, hence the use in bin liners, agricultural film, irrigation pipes, floor tiles and furniture.

Processing LDPE is one of the easiest plastics to work with. It offers the potential for injection, film and blow moulding and options to make resulting plastic material that is anti-slip, anti-static, anti-bacterial and flame retardant. The challenge for the recycling facility will be to clean and decontaminate the collected plastic packaging in an efficient way.

LDPE Recycling

Whilst flexible LDPE (bags and wraps) are not always collected through curbside recycling programs, many plastic carrier bags can be reused instead. We are seeing a number of supermarkets start to offer collections for these soft plastics. The Co-op, for example, are rolling out collection points throughout their network to recycle plastic film lids from yoghurt pots, plastic crisp packets, pasta bags and chocolate and crisp wrappers.

The more rigid form of LDPE is easier to recycle and is offered for curbside collection by a growing number of councils, though it is not guaranteed and you would need to check with your local authority.

LDPE has the recycling number "4" as its resin identification code inside the universal recycling symbol.


At the Plastic Bottles Company we stock a range of bottles suitable for storing oils, glue, acrylic paints and food products. These are complemented by a selection of caps which utilise the squeezy nature of the plastic bottles. These include pointed and one hole plugs and other applications. We don’t currently stock any LDPE packaging made with recycled content which will be exempt from the plastic tax (applicable from April 2022).

What is the Plastic Tax?

The Government has released a white paper detailing their efforts to combat virgin plastic use. This has resulted in the introduction of a plastic tax that will come into effect in April 2022. Suppliers and purchasers will be exempt from this tax if the recycled content for each product is 30% or more. Read more on our blog.

We have been working with our customers and suppliers to offer a wide range of recyclable and biodegradable plastics exempt from the Plastic Packaging Tax. Contact us to learn more and how you can make the switch.

Here to help!

If you need advice or are looking for a particular bottle or container that's not on the website, just ask. Even if we don't stock it we may be able to source it for you.

Telephone: (+44) 01229 588877 or 588468
© The Plastic Bottles Company 2018 - 2024. All rights reserved. GJD Solutions Limited t/a The Plastic Bottles Company, Unit 1F Cross Lane, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 9DQ. Registration: 07515596.