Understanding plastic recycling symbols

The little symbols that relate to recycling and are found on product packaging can look like a foreign language at first, but deciphering those symbols can help you make better recycling decisions.

In regards to plastic, these symbols are a triangle formed of arrows with the numbers 1-7 inside and letters beneath relating to the type of resin used to form the product. If you’ve ever wondered what the plastic symbols mean or are struggling to understand the differences between them, then read on for a short guide:


This is the symbol you are likely to see on most plastic bottles or fruit punnets. It means the product is made from polyethylene terephthalate. These types of plastics are nearly always collected by local councils through domestic recycling.


These products are formed of high-density polyethylene. This is seen on domestic packaging such as shampoo bottles and is widely collected by local councils through household recycling schemes.


Items with this symbol contain polyvinyl chloride and include things like toys and drain pipes. These are not routinely collected by local councils. Households or business with large amounts of this waste item may need to use a specialist recycling service.


This is generally seen on plastic carrier bags and means the product is made from low-density polyethylene. Some of these items need to be taken to a local tip or removed by a local recycling service, while plastic bags can simply be returned to supermarkets.

PP 5

This stands for low-density polyethylene and although it may be a symbol seen on common household items such as margarine pots, it’s not widely collected by councils.

PS 6

Items such as polystyrene cups fall into this category, which again require specialist recycling services.

Other 7

Many other items such as those that are made from acrylic nylon or polycarbonate fall into this category, as do mixed plastic items. Businesses with a lot of waste in this category will need to enlist a local recycling firm to dispose of it.

Companies or households that are based in Wales and need a local recycling service to deal with certain plastics can enlist our help at GD Environmental.

How to scrap your car in three simple steps

It can be a sad day when your car finally comes to the end of the road (quite literally). For most, the next step is to scrap it, but how do you go about getting the best deal?

Around two million cars are scrapped in the UK every year, which means that when it comes to scrapping your car, you sadly won’t get a huge amount of money for it. After all, scrapping really is the last resort.

So, unless you’re willing to break your car apart and sell the parts yourself, scrapping is your easiest option. So how do you go about doing this?

1. Check Online

GD Environmental offers a competitive rate and are responsible organisation who will act as your agent when it comes to scrapping cars. Many car manufacturers have partnered with us to provide you with a safe way to recycle your car and still comply with EU regulations.

However, don’t expect to fetch a substantial sum for your vehicle. Factors like global recycled steel prices will affect the value of your scrap car, so much so that you may only be offered a basic fee for collection of the vehicle.

2. Recycle the right way

EU regulations require 95% of scrap cars to be recycled, but not all recycling plants have the correct facilities. Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs), including those run by GD Environmental, are the only places legally permitted to dispose of scrap cars.

From there, the car can be broken down into its constituent parts, including hazardous parts such as motor oil and battery acid, which can then be recycled securely. Many of these centres offer a collection service, which is especially handy if your car is no longer roadworthy.

3. It’s your job to notify the DVLA

Though you may have relinquished your car to an ATF, your responsibility doesn’t actually end there. It is up to you to ensure the V5C document is filled out correctly and exchanged for a Certification of Destruction (CoD). Once you’ve sent this off to the DVLA, you are no longer responsible for the car and may even be eligible for a return of any unpaid road tax!

If it’s time to scrap your car, contact us today for the easiest solution.