Recycling Symbols on Plastic Containers

Did you know that plastic containers or bottles usually have a recycling symbol on the bottom?  The symbol is a number from 1 to 7 inside a triangle.  Why is this important and what does it mean to you?  With the great deal of attention paid to recycling these days,  it is important to know what numbers are accepted by your local curbside recycling program.  You can check the list below to see what the symbols mean and some common uses of each type of plastic.

Plastic 1:  PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)  – Usually clear and typically used to make soda and water bottles

Plastic 2:  HDPE  (High Density Polyethylene) – Typically opaque and used for milk jugs, juice bottles, shampoo bottles

Plastic 3:  PVC or V (Polyvinyl Chloride) – Used for some water bottles, salad dressing bottles and detergent containers

Plastic 4:  LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) – Soft squeezable bottles, food wraps

Plastic 5:  PP (Polypropylene) – Yogurt containers, jars, ketchup bottles

Plastic 6:  PS (Polystyrene) – Jars, packaging peanuts, plastic tableware

Plastic 7:  Other, Miscellaneous – Any plastics that don’t fit in 1 through 6 above

Some recycling centers may only accept plastics 1 and 2, however others may accept plastics 1 through 7.  It is always wise to check with them to get clarification on which plastics they accept.










Categories: Container Articles

Author: Gail

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