Some consumers, but not all, may notice that on nearly any plastic container you purchase, there is a triangle with a number (1 through 7) inside the triangle. Even some manufacturers who package foods, dairy products, cleaning products, or other materials in plastic containers may not be aware what these symbols mean. We’ve provided a brief explanation below that will hopefully enlighten you.
Basically, these triangles around specific numbers let you know what materials are in the plastic, and how the containers may be used in recycling. For instance, a triangle with a number one (1) inside it indicates the plastic container is a PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) container which may be recycled into carpet, fiber, paneling, even tote bags or used for manufacturing a new container.
See a triangle around the number five (5) on the ketchup bottles used in bottling your ketchup? This indicates the bottle contains polypropylene (PP), which may be recycled into landscape borders, battery cables, ice scrapers, and other products.
Cooking oil, shampoo, and window cleaner are often packaged in plastic bottles that exhibit the triangle surrounding the number three (3); these bottles may be recycled and used in flooring, mud flaps, or even paneling and decks.
What about numbers 2, 4, 6, & 7? Number two (2) is HDPE or high density polyethylene, commonly found in butter/yogurt containers, milk jugs, juice bottles, etc. Number four (4) is LDPE or low density polyethylene, commonly found in shopping bags and squeezable bottles. Six (6) is PS or polystyrene, frequently found in aspirin bottles, egg cartons, and CD cases. Seven (7) is miscellaneous, sometimes found in DVD cases and materials that are bullet-proof!
Ultimately, these numeric symbols or “resin ID codes” help recycling facilities sort through the various types of plastic/materials so they may be used in making other goods. While recycling is a practice many consumers are involved in today, many of us still do not do our part in reducing our carbon footprint!
At REA JET we thought many readers would find this interesting! For all of your marking plastic needs, count on us for the highest quality, dependable printing solutions including ink jet, laser, spray mark, and more.