present at the bottom of plastic bottles
or any other plastic containers, you might see a little triangle of arrows with
a number inside. The symbols are meant to signify what type of resin plastic
the container is made of, so consumers know whether the plastic is good or bad
and if it can be reused or not. They all indicate the difference among
various plastic containers, are very useful while sorting the collected bottles
while recycling. In another word they are plastic ID number.
This is polyethylene terephtalate. Most disposable soda
and water bottles are made of this, and it’s usually clear. This plastic is
considered generally safe. However, it is known to have a porous surface that
allows bacteria and flavor to accumulate. It is safe for one-time use and this
kind of plastic degenerates itself over the time. It is not safe to use it
after the expiry date so they come up with the message – Crush the bottle after use.
This is high density polyethylene. Most milk jugs,
detergent bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs, and toiletries bottles are made
of this. It is usually opaque. This plastic is considered safe and has
low risk of leaching. It is also picked up by most recycling programs.
contains two or more chemical components that can cause hormone imbalance.
However, PVC is one of the most frequently used plastics around the world, which
is used in diverse products such as peanut butter jars, plastic toys, blood
bags, tablecloths, window frames, and pipes.
4 – LDPE
This is low density polyethylene (LDPE). It is used to make
grocery bags, some food wraps, squeezable bottles, and bread bags. While this
kind of plastic is considered widely safe for the regular storage use, it is
not usually accepted for recycling.
5 – PP
This is polypropylene. ( PP ) Yogurt cups and similar
wide-necked containers are often made from it, as well as water bottles with a
cloudy finish. You’ll also find it in medicine bottles, ketchup and syrup
bottles, and straws. This plastic is also considered safe, and is increasingly
being accepted by curbside recycling programs.
6 – PS
This is polystyrene, or Styrofoam. Most common with
disposable plastic cups, spoons, plates and utensils, meat trays, the number 6
kind of plastic has recently been speculated to be highly dangerous as it
leaches potentially toxic chemicals – especially when heated. Stay away from
using these at all if possible. This plastic is also very difficult to recycle.
7 – OTHER
This number basically means “everything else”. It
could contain anything from Polycarbonates to Bisphenol A, which is considered
very dangerous. They are hormone disruptors and continuous usage may lead to
cancer and heart attacks. However, this type of plastic is widely used in the
production of food containers, infant bottles, sports drink bottles etc.
that gave you enough information on the usage of plastics. And make sure you be
very careful in using them the right way!