Different Types of Plastics, Their Properties & Uses

PVC Pipe

Photo By Dennis Hill

Today we’re looking at the types of different plastics, along with their properties and uses – which leads us at Consolidated Plastics to consider the nature of change, both in our business and in yours. At Consolidated Plastics, we think of plastic as a medium of change, making products better while serving as a reminder that flexibility is a key to success.

In fact, plastics are so versatile that we can forget the many ways they help your business grow and run smoothly. The word ‘plastic’ – from the Greek for ‘capable of being shaped or molded,’ refers to the malleability of this class of materials, with the synthetic plastics in particular, including polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC, being especially useful.


A specialty at Consolidated Plastics, polyethylene is key to the way so many of our products can be cast and pressed into almost any shape imaginable. A solid and stable plastic that was accidentally discovered by a German chemist, polyethylene was first synthesized nearly 120 years ago. In service for decades in a wide range of products, it’s a little-known fact that it was actually a top-secret strategic material during World War II because of one unusual property, its ability to reduce the loss of high-frequency radio waves. In fact, its commercial applications were suspended during the war, when it was reserved for use as an insulator in coaxial radar cables.

Since then, many versions of polyethylene have been developed for different uses, ranging from chlorinated polyethylene that can be blended with PVC pipes and tubing to increase weather and impact resistance, to PET (polyethylene terephthalate), used in everything from food containers to fibers in clothing, to bio-based polyethylene that can be produced from sugarcane, beets and even wheat.

At Consolidated Plastics, we mold polyethylene into a variety of high-quality packaging and container products. For example, our Oblong and Round Jugs are made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). These naturally colored opaque vessels come with their own plastic caps, and they’re perfect for shipping, stocking shelves or storing liquids and powders for future use. As an example of bagging solutions, our Heavy-Duty 4 Mil Resealable Bubble Bags envelop your products with bubbles made of 4 mm-thick polyethylene to protect them from scratches, dents and breakage.

And our premium Entryway Mats offer the best of all worlds, with carpet tops made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET – polyethylene again – and your choice of either a cleated or smooth rubber backing. Available in a range of shapes, sizes, thicknesses and colors, our composite mats make your business look great, regardless of changes in the season, the business climate or technology.


While polyethylene is the most widely used synthetic plastic, polypropylene, the second-most used, is the material of choice in textiles, plastic parts, containers and other demanding applications, due to its ruggedness and resistance to chemical solvents. We use it for our Disposable Beakers as well as our regular and custom Berber Mats, where its ability to resist both chemicals and wear-and-tear help make those product lines last so long, and offer such great value.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

The world’s third-most used synthetic plastic is polyvinyl chloride, PVC, also part of our arsenal of solutions. Available in rigid and flexible forms, clear PVC makes our Cylinder Bottles so strong and convenient to use for storing, transporting and packaging a wide array of products. We include standard black caps with our Cylinders for easy visual reference.

So, when considering the many product lines we make, it’s good to know that each and every one has been studied and tested for peak performance, to ensure that you can trust their performance and their overall value.

Circling back to where we started today, while we fully embrace change, and constantly investigate high-quality materials to make our products better, one thing that doesn’t change is our focus on pleasing you. Simply email or call to let us know which of our durable and cost-effective plastic products are best at helping your business grow, do more and change for the better!

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