What is HDPE

At Cutting Board Werks, our custom cutting boards are made out of two materials: high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, and Richlite. But what is HDPE? What can it be used for? Where does it come from? Why is it used in our cutting boards? Let’s find out.

What is HDPE?

High-density polyethylene, or HDPE, is a type of plastic. The thermoplastic polymer is made from the natural gas ethane. The ethane is heated to the point where its molecules break, which then creates ethylene. That then creates a chain of ethylene molecules that are strung together.

HDPE was created in the 1930s by the United Kingdom. It was used in high-frequency radar cables during World War II before becoming popular in the U.S. during the 1950s. Nowadays, it is labeled as a #2 plastic.

It is the most widely used type of plastic. It is used in dozens and dozens of products, often to replace heavier materials: milk jugs, bottles, food, beverage and chemical containers, pipes, cutting boards, plastic lumber, toys, furniture, lawn and garden products, automobile and bike parts and more.

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HDPE Qualities

The reason for HDPE’s popularity? It’s numerous qualities.

HDPE is:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Easily moldable due to its malleability
  • Has a high melting point of about 130 degrees Celsius
  • Impact, weather, mold, rotting, mildew, corrosion, acid, chemical and UV resistant
  • Impervious to most common chemicals, water, solvents, acids, detergents, cleaning fluids and mineral acids and bases
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting
  • Strong due its large strength-to-density ratio

HDPE in the Environment

HDPE is an eco-friendly plastic; it is certified by the Food and Drug Administration, National Sanitation Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture. It doesn’t contain phthalates, heavy metals and allergens, and it doesn’t give off harmful fumes and leak toxic chemicals.

HDPE requires less energy to produce. In turn, it is often recycled and reused in toys, bottles, trash cans, plastic lumber, composite wood and more.

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Cutting Board Werks

At Cutting Board Werks, we supply custom cutting boards for customers in the commercial foodservice industry.

Our selection of HDPE cutting boards come in an array of colors (red, yellow, green, blue, beige, black and natural white) and thicknesses (1/2”, ¾” and 1”) so you can create your perfect cutting board.

Now that you know what HDPE is, shop with Cutting Board Werks today!

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