Plastic Lockers: ABS vs HDPE. What’s the difference?

When selecting plastic lockers for any setting, whether it’s for a school, gym, workplace, or industrial environment, the choice of material plays a crucial role in determining the locker’s suitability.

Typically our customers are deciding between steel, laminate (timber) or plastic lockers. However, this article is for people who are leaning towards plastic locker solutions. Plastic lockers are primarily chosen for their resistance to moisture and are a popular choice for pool lockers. However, you may not realise there are two types of plastic locker materials commonly used. We’ll go through the pros and cons of each.

The two popular plastic materials for lockers are ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene), each with its unique set of characteristics, advantages, and considerations.

ABS Plastic Lockers

ABS lockers are known for their cost-effectiveness and rigidity, making them a solid choice for environments where budget and toughness are key considerations.


  • Durability: ABS lockers offer good durability and resistance to impacts, making them suitable for environments such as schools, gyms, and workplaces where they might face rough use.
  • Rigidity: The inherent rigidity of ABS contributes to a sturdy feel, which can enhance user satisfaction by providing a sense of quality.
  • Ease of Maintenance: These lockers are relatively easy to clean.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Given that ABS lockers are generally cheaper and have a shorter warranty period of 5 years, they may appeal to budget-conscious buyers or for installations where initial cost is a significant consideration.


  • Temperature Sensitivity: ABS may not perform well in high-temperature environments, potentially deforming in conditions that HDPE lockers can withstand.
  • Chemical Sensitivity: While resistant to many chemicals, ABS lockers can be damaged by certain solvents and acids, limiting their use in some industrial or laboratory settings.
  • Shorter Warranty: The shorter 5-year warranty might implies a shorter lifespan compared to HDPE plastic lockers.

HDPE Plastic Lockers

HDPE lockers offer exceptional durability, chemical resistance, and a longer lifespan, backed by a 20-year warranty. This makes them ideal for more demanding or specialized applications.


  • Chemical Resistance: With excellent resistance to a broad array of chemicals, HDPE lockers are ideal for harsh environments like laboratories or industrial areas.
  • Durability with Flexibility: These lockers are not just durable but also offer a degree of flexibility that helps them resist cracking from impacts, enhancing their longevity.
  • Higher Temperature Resistance: HDPE lockers can better withstand high temperatures, making them suitable for more varied environmental conditions without risk of deformation.
  • Environmental Considerations: The recyclability and environmentally friendly nature of HDPE can be a significant selling point for organizations focused on sustainability.
  • Extensive Range and Customization Options: The HDPE locker range offers more options in terms of customization, colors, and styles, providing greater flexibility to meet specific customer needs or aesthetic preferences.
  • Longer Warranty: A 20-year warranty suggests a strong confidence in the product’s longevity and durability, potentially offering better value over time despite a higher initial cost.


  • Cost: The more extensive range of options and longer warranty of HDPE lockers come at a higher initial cost, which might be prohibitive for some customers.
  • Perceived Need for Durability: While the durability and long warranty are advantages, some customers might not require the level of robustness offered by HDPE lockers, especially in less demanding environments, making the extra cost harder to justify.


Both lockers suffer the same limitation. Customisation of small – medium quantities is not advised. Plastic lockers are manufactured using pre-cast moulds. This means that in order to make a locker of a different height or width, multiple moulds need to be made first. The cost of this is typically prohibitive. Projects would need to have approximately 500 units for the development costs to be sufficiently diluted.


Whether you’re prioritising budget, durability, chemical resistance, or customization options, understanding the differences between ABS and HDPE lockers is key to making an informed decision that best suits your needs. ABS lockers offer an affordable, sturdy option for environments where cost and impact resistance are paramount, while HDPE lockers excel in longevity, adaptability, and environmental sustainability, making them suitable for a wide range of applications. With an extensive selection of both ABS and HDPE lockers, along with the expertise to guide you through choosing the perfect locker solution, Hi Tech Lockers is your go-to source for all your plastic locker needs. Contact Hi Tech Lockers today to explore our range and find the locker solution that aligns with your specific requirements and budget.

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