What Do The Numbers On Recyclable Plastics Mean?
plastic recycling symbol #1: pet or pete PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common plastic for single-use bottled beverages like ketchup bottles, soft drinks and mouthwash. PET can be collected by most kerbside recycling as long as it’s clean and empty. Sep 13, · The number is a resin identification code, used to help recycling plants sort datingusaforall.comable plastics are labeled with numbers to tell workers what kind of plastic it is, and how it should be processed. But it also helps recycling collectors determine what items they can accept — and which ones go in the trash.
Reducing our dependence on single-use plastic is more important than ever — but did you know that plastics themselves come in a wide variety of types? Each one of them is different, made of different polymers, and used for different things.
Unsurprisingly, not every plastic number is actually recyclable. Some are permanent pollutants, doomed to pile up in our oceans and landfills until their base elements coat the whole of the Earth.
Others, like the titular No. Here we will explore how and where to recycle No. According to OpenLearnthere are seven types of plastic out there. They are listed and numbered accordingly, as follows:. It is used in clear bottlesfood trays, peanut butter jars, and more. It is usually utilized to make food trays, toys, piping, or wire insulation. It is usually not recycled.
However, there are ways to do so, which we shall explore in detail later on. You can usually find No. Unless the recycling program in your area specifies otherwise make sure to check your municipality's websitethese are basically destined for the landfill. Unfortunately, as the plastic pollution problem increases, recycling as many of bungalowpark so what de koog disposable plastics as we can becomes an absolute necessity.
Plastic bag bans notwithstanding, plastic pollution continues to be a problem for many countries and various ecosystems the world over. The only way to minimize the already catastrophic damage they have caused is by way of a two-pronged assault: a ban on disposable plastic bags and a renewed interest in recycling No. There are several ways to recycle No. In the case of plastic bags, reusing them around your home is honestly a good bet. In many cases, you can actually return No. Many grocery chains and big-box stores have bins set up to collect them, as do some dry cleaners and drugstores.
Earth has a nationwide directory of recycling programs, searchable by type of item and zip code that is most useful for this type of uncommon recycling. Plastic does not biodegrade like other materials. When it does break down, it turns into tiny, plastic microplasticswhich invariably enter the water table to cause serious trouble with the digestive systems of marine life.
As plastics are carcinogens — at least according to BreastCancer. The same holds true for No. When No. This repurposes the used plastic in a useful way. First, make sure that your bags are clean of dirt, food particles, or any such nastiness before you bring them in for recycling. This is required by local how to keep your computer fast departments, recycling centers, and retailers.
Try to collect a decent amount of bags before you bring them to the bin — the more you recycle at once, the easier it is for those hauling the plastic from the bin to the recycling plant. Why Is It Important to Recycle? Green Matters is a registered trademark.
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HDPE plastic is the stiff plastic used to make milk jugs, detergent and oil bottles, toys, and some plastic bags. HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic and is considered one of the safest forms of plastic. It is a relatively simple and cost-effective process to recycle HDPE plastic for secondary use. Jan 17, · Plastic #6 is widely applied to packaging and insulation. So PS 6 plastic can be found in: Disposable drinking cups CD, DVD cases Egg cartons Food containers to-go and disposable cutlery Insulation, including building insulation The problem with plastic number 6 is its fragility: it breaks up easily and goes to the environment. You can recycle plastic bottles, jars, round containers, buckets and nursery pots at home. Sort plastic by shape, not by number Whether you've been recycling since the s or you're navigating plastic packaging newer to the market, you may be wondering, "Which numbers can I recycle?".
Within each chasing arrows triangle, there is a number which ranges from one to seven. The purpose of the number is to identify the type of plastic used for the product, and not all plastics are recyclable or even reusable. There are numerous plastic-based products that cannot break down and cannot be recycled. Understanding the seven plastic codes will make it easier to choose plastics and to know which plastics to recycle.
For example, water bottles that display a three or a five cannot be recycled in most jurisdictions in the US. Here are the seven standard classifications for plastics, and the recycling and reuse information for each type. PET is one of the most commonly used plastics in consumer products, and is found in most water and pop bottles, and some packaging. It is intended for single use applications; repeated use increases the risk of leaching and bacterial growth.
PET plastic is difficult to decontaminate, and proper cleaning requires harmful chemicals. Polyethylene terephthalates may leach carcinogens. The plastic is crushed and then shredded into small flakes which are then reprocessed to make new PET bottles, or spun into polyester fiber. This recycled fiber is used to make textiles such as fleece garments, carpets, stuffing for pillows and life jackets, and similar products. To use less PET plastic, consider switching to reusable beverage containers and replacing disposable food packaging with reusable alternatives.
HDPE plastic is the stiff plastic used to make milk jugs, detergent and oil bottles, toys, and some plastic bags. HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic and is considered one of the safest forms of plastic. It is a relatively simple and cost-effective process to recycle HDPE plastic for secondary use. HDPE plastic is very hard-wearing and does not break down under exposure to sunlight or extremes of heating or freezing.
For this reason, HDPE is used to make picnic tables, plastic lumber, waste bins, park benches, bed liners for trucks and other products which require durability and weather-resistance.
It is also a popular material for recycled plastic raised garden beds. Products made of HDPE are reusable and recyclable. To cut down, consider replacing your disposable produce bags with reusable alternatives. It is commonly used as the sheathing material for computer cables, to make plastic pipes and parts for plumbing, and in garden hoses.
Because PVC is relatively impervious to sunlight and weather, it is used to make window frames, garden hoses, arbors, raised beds and trellises. Products made using PVC plastic are not recyclable. To avoid items made with PVC plastic, consider replacing plastic food wrap with reusable beeswax wraps ; plastic toys with reclaimed wool stuffed animals ; and your PVC garden hose with a Drinking Water Safe Garden Hose.
LDPE is often found in shrink wraps, dry cleaner garment bags, squeezable bottles, and the type of plastic bags used to package bread. The plastic grocery bags used in most stores today are made using LDPE plastic. Some clothing and furniture also uses this type of plastic. LDPE is considered less toxic than other plastics, and relatively safe for use. It is not commonly recycled, however, although this is changing in many communities today as more plastic recycling programs gear up to handle this material.
When recycled, LDPE plastic is used for plastic lumber, landscaping boards, garbage can liners and floor tiles. Products made using LDPE plastic are reusable, but not always recyclable. You need to check with your local collection service to see if they are accepting LDPE plastic items for recycling.
To cut down on the amount of LDPE that you consume, try replacing your plastic grocery bags with fabric alternatives and taking a cloth bag to your local bakery the next time you buy a loaf of bread.
You can also replace plastic sandwich bags with platinum silicone alternatives , which are heat safe. Polypropylene plastic is tough and lightweight, and has excellent heat-resistance qualities. It serves as a barrier against moisture, grease and chemicals. When you try to open the thin plastic liner in a cereal box, it is polypropylene.
This keeps your cereal dry and fresh. PP is also commonly used for disposable diapers, pails, plastic bottle tops, margarine and yogurt containers, potato chip bags, straws, packing tape and rope. Recycled PP is used to make landscaping border stripping, battery cases, brooms, bins and trays. However, 5 plastic is today becoming more accepted by recyclers. PP is considered safe for reuse. To recycle products made from PP, check with your local curbside program to see if they are now accepting this material.
To cut down on how much PP you consume, opt for reusable straws instead of plastic ones, reusable water bottles , and cloth diapers. Polystyrene is an inexpensive, lightweight and easily-formed plastic with a wide variety of uses. Polystyrene is also widely used to make rigid foam insulation and underlay sheeting for laminate flooring used in home construction. Because polystyrene is structurally weak and ultra-lightweight, it breaks up easily and is dispersed readily throughout the natural environment.
Beaches all over the world have bits of polystyrene lapping at the shores, and an untold number of marine species have ingested this plastic with immeasurable consequences to their health. Polystyrene may leach styrene, a possible human carcinogen, into food products especially when heated in a microwave.
Chemicals present in polystyrene have been linked with human health and reproductive system dysfunction. Recycling is not widely available for polystyrene products. While the technology for recycling polystyrene is available, the market for recycling is small.
Awareness among consumers has grown, however, and polystyrene is being reused more often. While it is difficult to find a recycler for PS, some businesses like Mailboxes Etc. To eliminate polystyrene from your trash, try a reusable coffee cup , compostable or reusable picnic cutlery , and stainless steel takeaway containers.
Of primary concern with 7 plastics, however, is the potential for chemical leaching into food or drink products packaged in polycarbonate containers made using BPA Bisphenol A.
BPA is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor. Number 7 plastics are used to make baby bottles, sippy cups, water cooler bottles and car parts. A new generation of compostable plastics, made from bio-based polymers like corn starch, is being developed to replace polycarbonates. These are also included in category 7, which can be confusing to the consumer.
Plastics with the recycling labels 1, 2 and 4 on the bottom are safer choices and do not contain BPA. PLA coded plastics should be thrown in the compost and not the recycle bin since PLA compostable plastics are not recyclable. The plastics industry has conformed to regulations by applying the required codes to consumer products, but it is up to individuals to read and understand the codes.
By understanding these simple classifications, we can best use plastics to our advantage while minimizing the health and disposal issues that may otherwise arise. To avoid chemicals leaking into your foods from food packaging, try going homemade and storing your leftovers or your lunches in platinum silicone or stainless steel. Greg Seaman Originally from Long Island, NY, Greg Seaman founded Eartheasy in out of concern for the environment and a desire to help others live more sustainably.
Greg spends his free time gardening, working on his home and building a wooden sailboat with hand tools. Shop Learn Our Story. Read Article Shop Products. The little number inside the triangle tells the real story. Products made of 1 PET plastic should be recycled but not reused. Polystyrene should be avoided where possible. Responses 98 Plastics by the Numbers - From Our Shop. Skoy Eco Cleaning Cloth 4-Pack. Abeego Wraps Variety 3-Pack.
Bamboo Straws 6-Pack. Bambu Undercut Cutting Boards. Biodegradable Bamboo Plates - Set of 8. Reusable Glass Coffee Cup 16oz. Cuppow Canning Jar Drinking Lid. Stainless Steel Compost Keeper. Related Articles. How to Grow Sprouts at Home. How to Choose Non-toxic Candles for the Holidays. Load More.
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