Product Materials - A Breakdown

By Kyra Leigh

A rundown on some of the most common materials found across the mojo range.

Have you ever found yourself crying into your third cup of coffee over trying to figure out what material is actually eco-friendly and found yourself lost in a soup of acronyms and opposing views?

Never fear, for MoJo is here to help you out with our guide to the most common materials you will find in the merchandising industry.

Please note that what is recycled via domestic services varies between local authorities, so always check their website before making your choice.




  • Name: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • Commonly Found: Computer hardware, Children’s toys, Containers, Tables & chairs
  • Easily Recycled: No - Code 7 Plastic
  • Alternative: Contact a waste recycling company

Referred to as a thermoplastic, ABS plastic can be reheated and reset multiple times without degrading the material. This, its durability and the ease with which it can be pigmented makes it a very popular option for a range of household items.

Although its thermoplastic properties and wide use make this an ideal material for recycling, it is classified as a Code 7 plastic material meaning that it usually ends up in landfill. Alternatively, there are a range of private waste recycling companies that will collect and reuse.


  • Name: High Density Polythene
  • Commonly Found: Children’s toys, Kitchenware, Food Packaging, Bottles, Chemical drums
  • Easily Recycled: Yes - Code 2 Plastic

HDPE is a plastic used across the globe for its dual properties of being flexible and resistant to many corrosive chemicals including alcohols and diluted acid and alkalis. It is also BPA-free and safe for contact with food and drink.

It is classed as a Code 2 plastic meaning that it can be easily recycled.


  • Name: Low Density Polythene
  • Commonly Found: Packaging like shrink wrap, Single-use bags
  • Easily Recycled: Sometimes - Code 4 Plastic
  • Alternative: Contact a waste recycling company or a company’s take-back recycling scheme

Though not a durable material, LDPE is highly prized for packaging for its transparency, light weight and flexibility.

Recycling LDPE is difficult and can vary depending on how it's being used, the more dense LDPE (e.g. bottles) being more easily recycled than its lighter counterparts (e.g. clingfilm). For this reason it is classified as Code 4. If your local council does not accept LDPE or will accept only certain forms of it, please recycle at a specialist point.


  • Name: Polypropylene
  • Commonly Found: Packaging, Textiles, Medical equipment
  • Easily Recycled: Yes - Code 5 Plastic

A highly customisable material, it can be easily pigmented and is considered to be very durable. Its high melting point means that it can withstand heat sterilisation processes, making it ideal for food and medical industries. It is also used widely in the automotive industry.

Because it is a Code 5 thermoplastic, it is easily and widely recycled.


  • Name: Polyethylene Terephthalate
  • Commonly Found: Food packaging, Bottles
  • Easily Recycled: Yes - Code 1 Plastic

Lightweight and easily moulded into your desired shape, this is a very popular and safe material for food packaging and bottles.

A Code 1 plastic, this is one of the most widely recycled plastics. Recycled PET, commonly known as rPET is also recyclable as long as it has not been mixed with another plastic resin. It requires 1/10 of the water and 70% less water to process compared to its virgin version.


  • Commonly Found: Kitchenware
  • Easily Recycled: No - Rubber
  • Alternative: Contact a waste recycling company or a company’s take-back recycling scheme

Due to its stability and heat resistance, it is popular for kitchenware.

It can be recycled, however it is not included in domestic recycling as when it is melted down and repurposed, the silicone degrades slightly. This is referred to as down-cycling. Although it will take many centuries to degrade, it will not leave behind micro-plastics like plastic will, degrading into the silica it is derived from.


  • Name: Eastman Tritan™ Copolyester
  • Commonly Found: Bottles
  • Easily Recycled: No - Code 7 Plastic
  • Alternative: Contact a waste recycling company

Created by Eastman Co, Tritan is a BPA-free, lightweight but still exceptionally durable plastic. Able to withstand daily wear and tear, it will not warp in hot water and it is shatter-proof.

Due to its composition, this is not widely recycled.


  • Name: Polymethyl Methacrylate or PMMA
  • Commonly Found: Screens, Panelling
  • Easily Recycled: No - Code 7 plastic
  • Alternative: Contact a waste recycling company

This is a tougher, lighter alternative to glass whilst still offering clear transparency and shine. It is also often known as plexiglass or perspex.

As this is a Code 7 plastic, this is not widely recycled. Contact a waste recycling company.


  • Name: Styrene Acrylonitrile or AS plastic
  • Commonly Found: Kitchenware, Bathroom goods, Office goods
  • Easily Recycled: No - Code 7 Plastic
  • Alternative: Contact a waste recycling company

Hardwearing, SAN plastics are popular for their clear transparent appearance as well as ease of printing on them.

Made from a changing composition of Styrene and Acrylonitrile (roughly 70:25) dependent on final use, this is classed as a Code 7 Plastic meaning that it is difficult to recycle. Contact a waste recycling company.




  • Commonly Found: Bottles, Cans
  • Easily Recycled: Yes

Lightweight and with a high shine, this is a very popular material for drinks packaging. It also has one of the lowest carbon footprints associated with single-use drink packaging.

Widely used, it is very easy to recycle multiple times without impacting on the quality of the material. It is the most recycled material globally.

Stainless Steel

  • Commonly Found: Kitchenware, Sinks, Countertops, Pipes, Jewellery, Surgical Instruments
  • Easily Recycled: Yes
  • Alternative: Contact a waste recycling centre or deposit at a recycling centre.

Popular for its long lifespan, Stainless Steel is known for being hardwearing and resistant to corrosion making it ideal for work surfaces in kitchens as well as objects subject to regular wear and tear. Its toughness also means that it is good for items where hygiene is paramount.

The inclusion of stainless steel in kerbside recycling varies across areas. Please check with your local authority as to what stainless steel items can be recycled. Alternatively, contact a waste recycling centre or deposit at a recycling centre.



Textiles are not recycled via domestic services, however, they can be deposited in textile banks that are common in urban areas and next to supermarkets. Some materials are also compostable.

Some retailers such as The North Face and H&M offer recycling services.



  • Commonly Found: Clothing, Bath and Bed Linens, Medical Supplies
  • Biodegradable: Yes

One of the most common fibres used globally, cotton can be either used on its own or mixed with other materials such as polyester. It is absorbent and breathable, making it an excellent option for bedding and clothing. Though generally considered to be environmentally friendly, it is advised that where possible, procure cotton from certified sustainable sources (e.g. GOTS or OEKO-TEX) as this is the only way to be sure that 100% of the cotton you are buying is accredited and not mixed with poorer cottons.

Cotton is biodegradable. However, if it has been mixed with a synthetic fibre, it is not compostable.



  • Name: Bamboo Viscose
  • Commonly Found: Clothing
  • Biodegradable: Yes

Bamboo fabric is made via a range of methods, most commonly by extracting cellulose from the bamboo and treating it with chemical solvents. The resulting material is then turned into filaments with sulphuric acid before being spun into yarn. This creates the semi-synthetic viscose rayon. The organic, mechanical method uses a natural enzyme on the crushed bamboo matter to produce the filaments to create what is known as closed loop rayon.

The former method of production is not considered eco friendly due to the chemicals it releases into the environment, and it has many links to issues regarding workers’ rights and health. Therefore, where possible, try to source certified organic bamboo viscose (closed loop rayon).



  • Name: Polyethylene Terephthalate, PET or Microfibre
  • Commonly Found: Clothing, Sheets, Rope, Upholstery
  • Biodegradable: No

Popular for its breathability and wide range of applications, polyester is also often combined with cotton to produce a more durable and easily cared for fabric.

This material is not considered to be environmentally friendly as not only is its manufacturing process detrimental, but it is also closely associated with the release of microfibres into the water supply. Recycled polyester is available, however, to be assured that it is from a reliable source, only buy from certified sources such as GRS.


Stuck on how to dispose of your merch where you are? Checkout this handy Recycle Now website to see where you can dispose of your old goodies by clicking here!