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May 23, 2018  |  Login
Plastic Identification Codes
By Yvonne Jeffery, Liz Barclay, Michael Grosvenor

Believe it or not, most plastics are recyclable. It just takes a little background knowledge to understand what all the codes are on the product to know which dropoff facilities accept your plastics. On every plastic product there is a Plastic Identification code – a triangle wit the number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 inside it. Most recycling facilities will accept plastics with codes 1 or 2 which commonly come in the form of beverage bottles and containers used for milk, juice, and body-care products. The table below shows you how to read the Plastic Identification Code and the products they’re associated with, as well as the possibilities for recycling.

Plastic Identification Codes

Plastic Identification Code Type of Plastic Common Products Possibilities for Recycling
1 PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) Soft drink, juice, and toiletry bottles T-shirt material and carpets
2 HDPE (high-density polyethylene) Milk jugs, detergent or bleach bottles Detergent bottles, binders, and fencing
3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Shampoo and mineral water bottles, house siding and piping New house siding, piping, and other building materials

4 LDPE (low-density polyethylene) Grocery, garbage, and bread bags New bags
5 PP (polypropylene) Margarine and dairy tubs Car parts and milk crates
6 PS (polystyrene)

Meat trays, coffee cups, packaging DVD cases and CD trays
7 Other plastics Ketchup bottles, other plastics Park and picnic benches

Source: Green Living for Dummies

Check with your local service provider or dropoff facility about which plastics it takes for recycling, and if you can, buy only products in plastics with those numbers. If the local provider doesn’t accept plastics, try to reduce the plastic that you buy and reuse what you already have.



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