Polypropylene (PP)

Polypropylene (PP) Recycling


Polypropylene, or “PP”, is the most commonly used plastic packaging material worldwide [1], due to various factors such as its chemical resistance and propensity to being made transparent (through an extrusion and stretching process that results in biaxially oriented polypropylene, or BOPP) [2]. In addition, PP is also highly recyclable, and has a resin identification code of 5.

However, according to the American Chemistry Council, currently less than 1 percent of the annual volume of PP manufactured ends up being recycled [1]. This can be partially attributed to the unfortunate circumstance surrounding PP use. As it is a popular packaging material, often PP applications have inherently short shelf lives. Furthermore, once PP is recycled, it often ends up as black or gray refuse which is often less enticing to manufacturers to reuse as packaging materials [3].

“… we signal to customers safety and cleanliness with our products, so we can’t sell stuff that is in gray or black bottles.” (John Layman, P&G Cincinnati) [3].

As a result, much of the PP that is manufactured inevitably ends up in landfills. This can have serious environmental and public health consequences as many of the additives used in PP manufacturing can be harmful if not treated properly.

However, after proper recycling procedures, namely separation of PP from other plastics, decontaminating, grinding and melting, post-consumer recycled PP can be used as recycled input in the creation of new products, at a ratio of as high as 50:50 with virgin resin. [1].

At Reclaim Plastics, our wide-frequency range sorting technology allows us to more easily separate darker coloured plastic scrap, including discolored PP, resulting in a quicker and more efficient recycling process.

05-PP plastics recycling symbol
Polypropylene has a resin identification code of 5.

[1] R. Leblanc, “Polypropylene Recycling – An Introduction,” The Balance Small Business, May 09, 2019. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/an-overview-of-polypropylene-recycling-2877863 (accessed Jul. 27, 2021).

[2] Granwell Products, “BOPP Film Overview,” Granwell Products. https://granwell.com/bopp-film-overview/ (accessed Jul. 27, 2021).

[3] E. Chasan, “There’s Finally a Way to Recycle the Plastic in Shampoo and Yogurt Packaging,” www.bloomberg.com, Sep. 15, 2019. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-09-25/polypropylene-plastic-can-finally-be-recycled.

carstar logo


“We are proud to recycle our scrap bumper plastics rather than add to the landfill. Reclaim has helped us do this.”

Kris Kurman


Schedule an appointment today!

Reclaiming our environment by Reclaiming the plastic waste we produce.