FYI: The Numbers on Plastic Bottles

The Numbers on Plastic Bottles: What do Plastic Recycling Symbols Mean? | NationofChange

ENVIRONS_PLASTIC#sFebruary 6, 2013

Have you ever wondered what the numbers, or recycling symbols mean at the bottom of plastic bottles and containers? Did you know that, while the use of all plastics should be limited if at all possible, some are safer than others? It’s time to learn a little bit about the various plastics you use and drink/eat from every single day, and what impact they have not only on you, but also the environment.

Every plastic container or bottle has a recycling symbol. The symbol is a number, ranging from 1 to 7, within a triangle. While you may think nothing of these symbols, they can actually offer a great deal of information regarding the toxic chemicals used in the plastic, how likely the plastic is to leach, how un-bio-degradable the plastic is, and ultimately the safety of the plastic.

Here is some information on the various recycling symbols and numbers:

The Recycling SymbolsPlastic #1 – PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Picked up by most curbside recycling programs, plastic #1 is usually clear and used to make soda and water bottles. Some consider it safe, but this plastic is known to allow bacteria and flavor to accumulate.

It’s found mostly in soda bottles, water bottles, beer bottles, salad dressing containers, mouthwash bottles, and peanut butter containers. (Read more)

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