High Density Polyethylene – What Is It and Why We Use It?

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a plastic polymer made from petroleum. Known for its high strength-to-density ratio, it is the most widely used material in the manufacturing and packaging industry.


What is HDPE?

Polyethylene is the most common and widely produced plastic in the world. Because of its  strength and flexibility, it is used to manufacture countless everyday items, including milk containers, juice bottles, water tanks and containers, and even toys.

Polyethylene can be classified into various classes depending on its mechanical and chemical properties. The most common include, Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), and Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW).

Class Plastics mainly uses High Density Polyethylene to manufacture our plastic containers. For over 25 years, we have been an industry leader in manufacturing and distribution of rigid HDPE plastic container packaging solutions from 1 to 1000 litre capacity.

So why HDPE?

HDPE is by far stronger than any standard polymer. It resists impacts, dents, rust and corrosion. And because HDPE is highly flexible, it is very easy to shape into a variety of innovative forms, whilst remaining the most affordable type of resin.

jerry cans

Key benefits of HDPE

1. It is readily available

Polyethylene is a byproduct of oil.  It is a thermoplastic polymer made from petroleum. Applying intense heat to petroleum creates ethylene gas. These gas molecules can then be converted  to form polymers which produce polyethylene. HDPE is available in most countries worldwide.

2. Easy to process

HDPE is easy to melt and can be molded into different shapes, sizes and colors.  Blow molding is the process of melting down plastic and molding it by having compressed air blown into it.

At Class Plastics, we offer a range of products that can be customised to meet every requirement, and we collaborate with our customers to address even the most challenging problems. From 1 to 1000 litre capacity (HDPE Cube, Rectangular and Hexagon containers and Jerry Cans), our custom molding guarantee ensures that you get the best product everytime.

3. Versatile and easy to use

HDPE is the most common and widely used thermoplastic in the world. It is used across many industries in many different ways, and is the most cost-effective alternative to metal for containers.

4. Sustainable

HDPE is long-lasting and does not deteriorate quickly. In fact, it is non-biodegradable which means it does not decompose. It can withstand different weather conditions and can tolerate slightly higher temperatures compared to softer plastic like LDPE.

5. Yes, it is recyclable

While HDPE is non-biodegradable, it has a better environmental footprint than other polymers because it is 100% recyclable. It has a resin identification code of #2, and is among the most flexible polymers for recycling. Whether it is a fuel can or a milk bottle, all those plastic containers get recycled. They end up becoming waste bins, plastic liners, park benches, roadworks bollards and so on.  

6. Innovative

Over the years, HDPE has been used in many new and exciting ways. There have been plenty of changes in the industry over time with the latest manufacturing  technology, increased automation, and innovative designs. Advancements and improvements have been focused on achieving better outcomes for the final consumer.

At Class Plastics, we make sure that we are up to date with the latest HDPE manufacturing techniques. We continue to invest in new technology and seek quality and innovative products to meet our customers’ needs.

For a quote or more information about our products, Contact Us today.

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Mario Nastri

Mario Nastri is currently a director/shareholder of Class Plastics Aust., Class Plastics QLD. & Class Packaging SA. In his past endeavors he has worked as a biochemist & physiologist at the University of Naples, Federico II 1993-1997, concentrating on aquaculture, marine pollution & during the winter months Cryogenics & IVF research & development, holding a Bachelor of Science majoring in Pharmacology & Biochemistry from Monash University. Mario also has a strong logistics background having managed a fleet of heavy vehicles which was part of a family owned business in the 1980’s & 90’s, transporting quarry stone, sand & asphalt for road surfacing. He has been with Class Plastics since 1999 & has extensive Blow molding knowledge which he has acquired over the past 20 years. He has extensive knowledge in managing a manufacturing business & overseeing a staff of 40 odd people across 4 states & 24 hour operations. He is committed to the continuous improvement of every department of the Class Plastics business, from improving manufacturing processes to creating energy via a 365Kw/1350 solar panel system installed 24 months ago.


  1. ingrid glastonbury on August 29, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    Could you please advise how long high density polyethylene lasts when exposed to UV light?

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