Plastics 101:


Everday at Reaction Polymers, we get plastics from all over Utah and beyond. While most of the plastic we see manages to meet our high standards, there never fails to be a case where I think “They could have gotten so much more for this plastic, if only...” So here are three areas to keep in mind when selling your plastic:

1. Type:
Generally speaking higher strength engineering grade plastics such as Polycarbonate, Nylon & ABS are more valuable than commodity grade plastics such as Polyethylene Polypropylene and Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC). If ever you have a question on where your type of plastic falls in the price spectrum, don’t hesitate to call us or e-mail us.

2. Quality:
This is the most important factor that affects the value of plastic.  In order for plastic to be recycled into new parts the plastic must be clean and not co-mingled. This means that different plastic types CANNOT be mixed together. Generally speaking there is no market for any co-mingled plastic.

Additionally plastic must be free from any metal, wood, floor sweepings, rags, screws, rocks, metal clips, rubber or latex gloves, cardboard, paper, tape of any kind, gaskets, rubber, sealants, paint, etc.  These are contaminates and generally render the plastic unrecyclable if they cannot be removed. 

While color is not as important as the above items it does affect value.  Light colored plastics are harder to go black than dark colored plastics.  Generally it is best to keep light colored plastics with light colored and dark colored plastic with dark colored.  The quality of the packaging also affects value. 

3. Quantity:
Recycled plastic is sold in boxes called gaylords.  These gaylords hold approximately 1000 pounds of plastic. There is generally no market for a few hundred pounds of anything unless it can be added to the same type of plastic from another source. It costs less per pound to transport 10,000 pounds than 1,000 pounds over a given distance.    

At Reaction Polymers, Inc. we strive to make sure you always get the most for your plastic. Free free to call us or e-mail us today if we can assist you in any way.