Plastic recycling directly affects a range of products, from drink containers, product packaging to shopping bags to piping. Plastic is nearly always the product of petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource. This fact makes recycling plastic even more important.
Plastics are identified by numbers 1 through 7. The plastic identifier is typically located on the bottom of the packaging. This code corresponds to the specific type of plastic. The list below illustrates examples of the identifier and examples of products that fall within each group.
#1 PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) – Carbonated drink bottles, oven-ready meal trays and water bottles
#2 HDPE (High-density polyethylene) – Milk bottles, detergent bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, cereal box liners and grocery, trash and retail shopping bags.
#3 PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) – Cling free film (plastic wrap), vegetable oil bottles, loose-leaf binders and plastic pipes
#4 LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) – Dry cleaning bags, produce bags, trash can liners, newspaper bags, bread bags, frozen food bags and squeezable bottles, such as mustard and honey
#5 PP (Polypropylene) – Medicine bottles, ketchup bottles, medicine bottles, aerosol caps and drinking straws
#6 PS (Polystyrene) – Retail compact disc jackets, grocery store meat trays, egg cartons, aspirin bottles, foam packaging peanuts and plastic tableware
#7 Other – Three- and five-gallon reusable water bottles, certain kinds of food containers and Tupperware. Generally considered all other forms of plastic not included in #1 – #6.