Plastic Recycling.. It’s a numbers game!
Have you ever looked at your plastics to recycle and wondered what the number meant?? You aren’t the only one. While plastic recycling varies from state to state, the plastic recycling numbers that identify each type of plastic have remained the same.
In the late 90’s the Society of plastic engineers (trust me, we won’t get too scientific here!) coded different types of plastic for recycling purposes. These plastic recycling numbers are the resin identification codes, which describe the polymer (molecule) type or type of plastic and what it can be used for. The rating system goes from 1- 7.
Here is the lowdown of what the Plastic Recycling Numbers:
PET 1:Polyethylene Terephthalate; can be used for liquid bottles, like water or soft drinks, or peanut butter jars
PE-HD 2: High Density Polyethylene; can be used for milk or juice bottles or trash bags
PVC 3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC); can be used for PVC piping, juice bottles or cling wrap
PE-LD 4: Low Density Polyethylene; can be used for flexible items, like freezer bags, flexible lids, or squeezable bottles
PP 5: Polypropylene; can be used for microwavable disposable wares like storage or takeout, disposable cups and plates, and yogurt containers
PS 6: Polystyrene; can be used for packing peanuts, egg cartons or disposable cutlery
O 7: Other plastic types, like polycarbonate or ABS; can be use for electronic casing or beverage bottles
The plastic recycling numbers let you know what can be recycled. Unfortunately, not all plastics are recycled by your local center. Make sure to contact your local recycling center to find out what can be recycled. www.Earth911.com can help you locate your local center. If your recycling facility only accepts certain types of plastics, refer to the plastic recycling numbers on the item to to sort the appropriate and recyclable plastics. This will help the recycling center from having to sort all of the plastics, which will then only be taken to a landfill, as we all know nothing is ever truly throw away.
What does the number mean to you or your family? There are certain plastics that you will want to pay attention to, such as # 2, 4 and 5 which are the safest. Generally, number 1 is also considered safe. EcoSavvyMoms is now doing research to bring you updates to the plastics debates.. and once we have our information confirmed will pass it along to our readers. Until then, happy sorting!
Filed under EcoSavvyMoms Blog · Tagged with