This plastic is commonly used in toys, hard packing, refrigerator trays, cosmetic bags, costume jewelry, CD cases, and vending cups. The symbols—then collectively called the Resin Identification Code (RIC)—were developed in 1988 by the organization now known as the Plastics Industry Association. Plastics. This plastic is recycled into compost bins, paneling, trash can liners and cans, floor tiles, and shipping envelopes. To aid consumers in their recycling efforts, The Society of the Plastics Industry (now known as the Plastics Industry Association) devised a system of symbols that identifies the type of plastic used, and you'll find these symbols on the bottom of all plastic products. First, read up on recycling tips from our environmental experts. These types of plastics are not accepted in your King County curbside recycling bin. Found in: Shampoo and cooking oil bottles, blister packaging, wire jacketing, siding, windows, piping. The versatile material is in our cars, toys, packaging, clothing, home goods, food utensils, and so much more — but it's also littering our streets, clogging our waterways, and choking marine life. Found in: Three- and five-gallon water bottles, bullet-proof materials, sunglasses, DVDs, iPod and computer cases, signs and displays, certain food containers, nylon. It's gradually becoming more accepted by recyclers. Plastics recycling cheat sheet. PVC is rarely recycled and not usually part of a curbside recycling program. Recycling can be tough knowing that the items in your recycle bin sometimes end up in landfills. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and V (vinyl) is tough and weathers well, so it's commonly used for things like piping and siding. It can be used in your home or place of business to provide an at-a-glance summary of various plastics, where they are commonly used and if they can be placed in your recycle bin. Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products. The number to found on the bottom of plastics is not a recycling symbol but rather a plastic or resin identification code. Which bin? Recycled into: Insulation, light switch plates, egg cartons, vents, rulers, foam packing, carry-out containers. HDPE plastic is used for a number of different purposes but is widely considered the plastic of choice for containers for items like cleaning agents, milk, detergents, and washing soap thanks to its low weight and high strength. Each number represents a different material. Plastic Recycling Symbols With so many different plastics in circulation and virtually no way of identifying them to the untrained eye a plastics identification system has been developed. The original idea for the symbol was to create a symbol for recycled paper. Recycling is sometimes more complicated than it needs to be, which has terrible consequences on your local recycling program and the environment. Also known as PETE, this symbol represents polyethylene terephthalate, which is commonly used for soft drink bottles, mineral water containers, and fruit juice containers, and cooking oil containers. It carries low risk of leaching and is readily recyclable into many types of goods. It's best to throw loose caps into the garbage since they easily slip through screens during recycling and end up as trash anyways. The problem is that if we throw non-recyclable plastics into the blue bin, they can contaminate the entire recycling stream. Symbol 1 with the acronym PETE PETG plastic. Plastic Plastic can be one of the most confusing materials to identify for recycling. The PIC (Plastics Identification Code) makes it easy to identify different plastics with the symbol being embossed into most plastic made products. Here's what each plastic recycling symbol means, along with examples it's found in and how to recycle it. For symbol 7 plastics, be sure to confirm with your local recycling program. LDPE (low density polyethylene) is a flexible plastic with many applications. You may come across this plastic in bubble foils, and trays for sweets and fruit. The original recycling symbol was designed by Gary Anderson in a logo design contest held by Bill Loyd, the graphic designer at Container Corporation of America in 1970. The number to found on the bottom of plastics is not a recycling symbol but rather a plastic or resin identification code. In the end, separating plastics accordingly helps waste management professionals ensure that the right materials end up in the right place. PVC is also cheap, so it's found in plenty of products and packaging. Styrene plastic, also known as polystyrene, is marked with symbol 6 that includes the acronym PS. Additionally, expanded PVC foam board is used for a wide variety of commercial applications. How to recycle it: LDPE is not often recycled through curbside programs, but some communities might accept it. Once you find a recycling center near you, it’s worth having a conversation about all seven recycle symbols. Styrene monomer (a type of molecule) can leach into foods and is a possible human carcinogen, while styrene oxide is classified as a probable carcinogen. In essence, this packaging recycling symbol is used to indicate that more than 75% of local authorities in the UK will collect the packaging / material for recycling. Almost all plastic products bear the general recycling symbol: a triangle formed by three circling arrows. How to recycle it: PVC and V can rarely be recycled, but it's accepted by some plastic lumber makers. Of course, the symbols themselves need explaining, too. The recycling logo consists of a number in the middle. Plastic #4 rests among the recycling symbols considered to be safe. The PIC (Plastics Identification Code) makes it easy to identify different plastics with the symbol being embossed into most plastic made products. Plastic Recycling Symbols With so many different plastics in circulation and virtually no way of identifying them to the untrained eye a plastics identification system has been developed. PLA (polylactic acid), which is made from plants and is carbon neutral, also falls into this category. Plastics aren't so great for the environment or our health. some stores will collect and recycle them, studies have shown it as a hormone disruptor, 3 Suspect Plastics to Avoid in Baby Bottles, Water Bottles, More, 12 Companies with Great Recycling Programs, Companies Pushing the Boundaries on Recycling. Found in: Soft drinks, water, ketchup, and beer bottles; mouthwash bottles; peanut butter containers; salad dressing and vegetable oil containers. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Inside the 2020 Raise the Green Bar Summit, 45 Easy Changes You Can Make to Save the Earth, How to Dispose of Household Items the Right Way, The Truth About What "Eco-Friendly" Actually Means, 30+ Endangered Animals You Should Know About, The Best Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags, Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping Institute, Plastic Recycling Symbol #7: Miscellaneous. Recycled into: Decks, paneling, mud-flaps, roadway gutters, flooring, cables, speed bumps, mats. We’ve all been there: you’ve got an item you’re about to toss out, say a coffee cup, but before you do, you look for the universal recycling symbol, the mobius loop ♻. But plastic recycling is a little tricky since seven different kinds of recyclable plastics carry this symbol (polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene, low-density polyethylene, etc. Therefore, the different numbers in the recycling mark indicate which resin the product is made of. The ASTM International Resin Identification Coding System, often abbreviated RIC, is a set of symbols appearing on plastic products that identify the plastic resin out of which the product is made. Remember to never burn PVC, because it releases toxins. First, you need to know that on most plastic packaging products, including containers and jars, you’ll see a recycling logo printed typically on the bottom. Found in: Squeezable bottles; bread, frozen food, dry cleaning, and shopping bags; tote bags; furniture. There are several recycling symbols, many of which can become confusing if you aren’t up to speed on what they mean. While the universal plastic resin symbol (three chasing arrows forming a triangle) remains the same, the numbers one through seven inside make a significant difference. Since they are both thermoplastics, they can be reheated without a loss in quality. Recycled into: Polar fleece, fiber, tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, straps, bottles and food containers (as long as the plastic being recycled meets purity standards and doesn't have hazardous contaminants). Numbers 3 to 7: Check your council's recycling advice. Symbol 2 with the acronym HDPE indicates one of the most commonly used plastics in the United States, HDPE (which stands for high-density polyethylene). The Mobius Loop with a number in the centre and a letter code bellow signifies what kind of plastic the packaging is made from. These symbols will then help you organize your plastics for recycling or removal. Plus, how to recycle the different types of plastics. It was the late 1980s, and the plastics industry was under fire. There are numbers from 1 to 7 in the triangle. The little number inside the triangle is there to help us identify the type of plastic used for the product. Plus, "there are times when your recycling program may change what it collects," says Mike Brown of Brown and Wilmanns Environmental, one of our environmental consultants. With that said, we’re highlighting how these unique numbers can indicate the type of plastic, and what they mean when it’s time to recycle them. Plastic #4 rests among the recycling symbols considered to be safe. PS (polystyrene) can be made into rigid or foam products — in the latter case it is popularly known as the trademark Styrofoam. This therefore makes it an option to include on corrugated cardboard packaging, and is particularly relevant to any packs that will be used / handled by end users (as opposed to within a supply chain). It poses low risk of leaching breakdown products. Most places still don't accept it in foam forms because it's 98% air. It is commonly accepted by curbside recycling. By understanding the number classifications, we can then determine the appropriate disposal route for our plastic products. Ultimately, it is important remain aware of local laws on recycling and be able to identify plastic … I will explain different composting or compo-stable symbols, what is the recycling symbol and what do the green or black recycling arrows mean. Symbol 7 including the word “OTHER” stands for “other plastics,” which include, but are not limited to, acrylic plastic, polycarbonate plastic, polylactic fibers, nylon, and fiberglass. The plastic is easily recyclable so it’s often part of curbside recycling programs. Even if there isn't a way for your town to recycle a certain material, he says there's still a chance they might collect it anyways and either store it or dispose of it. While not all plastics can be recycled, you can still recycle most—and the best way to determine which ones is by understanding the plastic recycling symbol system. Compared with the lucrative recycling of metal, and similar to the low value of glass recycling, plastic polymers recycling is often more challenging because of low density and low value.There are also numerous technical hurdles to overcome when recycling plastic. Since foam products tend to break apart into smaller pieces, you should place them in a bag, squeeze out the air, and tie it up before putting it in the trash to prevent pellets from dispersing. Why trust us? The plastic is easily recyclable so it’s often part of curbside recycling programs. This dot does not mean that the packaging is recycled or recyclable. In fact, returned packaging is burned or dumped massively. In the decades since this time, the Universal Recycling Symbol has vastly grown in use, being internationally recognized and actually becoming the universal symbol for recycling. Just like we mentioned under HDPE, plastic shopping bags can often be returned to stores for recycling. So, to help, here you’ll learn about the different types of plastic recycling symbols and what they mean. Found in: Disposable plates and cups, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, aspirin bottles, compact disc cases. Polycarbonate is number seven plastic, and it's the hard plastic that has worried parents after studies have shown it as a hormone disruptor. Plastics recycling cheat sheet. FYI: Just because a product has the chasing arrows symbol, doesn't mean it's recyclable — it's just an indicator of the type of plastic. Because chlorine is part of PVC, it can result in the release of highly dangerous dioxins during manufacturing. The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) introduced a code system in 1988 that helps with recycling plastic by numbers. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Remember, if it's plastic it’s at ACME PLASTICS. More about how to recycle plastic bottles. Mixed plastics and other types of plastics Many other types of plastic, such as vinyl banners, disposable Tyvek® clothing (shoe and boot covers, coveralls, hoods, lab coats, aprons, sleeves and pants), and large quantities of other plastics may be recyclable. Thanks to its lightweight and rigid properties, PVC plastic can be easily stamped, sawed, punched, nailed, riveted, or bonded using PVC adhesive. Recycled into: Signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, trays. Some may also say “Compostable.” #7 plastics are not for reuse, unless they have the PLA compostable coding. Here at the Good Housekeeping Institute, our team is passionate about sustainability and the environment. First, you need to know that on most plastic packaging products, including containers and jars, you’ll see a recycling logo printed typically on the bottom. Bill Loyd and Gary Anderson designing the recycling symbol. To aid consumers in their recycling efforts, The Society of the Plastics Industry (now known as the Plastics Industry Association) devised a system of symbols that identifies the type of plastic used, and you'll find these symbols on the bottom of all plastic products. This identifies the type of plastic resin used to make the item by providing a 'Resin Identification Code'. The best option is to consult your municipality's website for specific instructions. Plastic Recycling The symbol above may contain a number which can be used to identify different types of plastic. The numbers inside the symbol are material identification codes and do not indicate that the type of plastic is actually recycled. Symbol 4 with the acronym LDPE indicates that the plastic is made from LDPE plastic, which stands for low-density polyethylene. It is also increasingly being accepted in curbside recycling programs. It can be used in your home or place of business to provide an at-a-glance summary of various plastics, where they are commonly used and if they can be placed in your recycle bin. Many plastics can be readily recycled, but according to National Geographic, a whopping 91% of plastic has never even been recycled. Facing heightened public concern about ever-increasing amounts of garbage, the image of plastics was falling dramatically. We accept PET (soft drinks bottles – denoted by the number 1 within the triangle) and HDPE (i.e. How to recycle it: HDPE can often be picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only containers with necks. Recycled into: Laundry detergent bottles, oil bottles, pens, recycling containers, floor tile, drainage pipe, lumber, benches, doghouses, picnic tables, fencing, shampoo bottles. Plastic #5 – PP (Polypropylene) Increasingly becoming accepted by curbside recycle programs, plastic #5 is also one of the safer plastics to look for. In this article, we will discuss Recycling Symbols meanings, and Plastic Symbol number meanings (Resin Codes), recycling and recycle signs, logos for recycling. The series of recycling symbols on plastic items—a triangle with a number from 1 to 7 inside—can often tell you which kind of plastic the item is made of and how recyclable it is. If you need to dispose of either material, ask your local waste management to see if you should put it in the trash or drop it off at a collection center. However, both acrylic and polycarbonate can be recycled and can be repurposed for future projects. Most food packaging and other plastics are stamped with a recycling symbol, even if they are not commonly accepted for recycling. Good Housekeeping participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. So, to help, here you’ll learn about the different types of plastic recycling symbols and what they mean. In rare instances, it can be recycled for speed bumps, roadway gutters, and cables. Acme has a proud heritage of customer service and reliability since 1943. These are also included in category #7, which can be confusing to the consumer. Plastic resin codes. The recycling symbol is a variant of the Möbius loop to symbolize continuity within a finite entity. Every town and city has different recycling programs, so you'll often have to check your location's rules to find out exactly what you can recycle. How to recycle it: Not many curbside recycling programs accept PS in the form of rigid plastics (and many manufacturers have switched to using PET instead). Our expansive warehouse and manufacturing facility combined with experienced personnel assure that you receive the service and prices that you deserve. PP (polypropylene) has a high melting point, so it's often chosen for containers that will hold hot liquid. In fact, returned packaging is burned or dumped massively. Plastic packaging is hardly recycled in the United States, even though it carries the universal symbol of recycling, a triangle of chasing arrows. Also known as PETE, this symbol represents polyethylene terephthalate, which is commonly used for soft drink bottles, mineral water containers, and fruit juice containers, and cooking oil containers. There are a handful of symbols for aluminum recycling and recycled aluminum; in addition to the symbol shown here, there's also a configuration of two curved arrows surrounding the letters \"alu.\" Aluminum recycling is one of the environmental movement's great success stories -- in many places, over 95 percent of all aluminum is recycled. This plastic comes in the form of shopping bags, highly-resistant sacks, and crushed bottles. Sometimes it seems like everything in modern America is made of plastic. Found in: Milk jugs; juice bottles; bleach, detergent, and other household cleaner bottles; shampoo bottles; some trash and shopping bags; motor oil bottles; butter and yogurt tubs; cereal box liners. Plastic Recycling Symbol When the three arrows surround a number, that indicates the material is a type of plastic resin that can be recycled. detergent, shampoo and shower gel bottles – denoted by the number 2 within the triangle). Not every plastic can be recycled. It took Gary Anderson ‘a day or two’ to come up with his design. Essentially, most thermoplastics (which are flexible and are typically containers for packaging consumer goods like drink bottles) can and should be recycled. PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common plastic for single-use bottled beverages, because it's inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to recycle. Whether you’re working with acrylic plastic or polypropylene, being mindful of the small numbers within the “chasing arrows” symbol can help you better understand what type of plastic you are using and if it is recyclable at the receptacle. It advises what type of plastic the item is made from but not if it is recyclable. That means anything made with LDPE (like toothpaste tubes) can be thrown in the trash. The recycling logo consists of … It advises what type of plastic the item is made from but not if it is recyclable. Thanks to its durability, strength, and low weight, this plastic is utilized in furniture, luggage, toys, and the lining and external borders of cars. We are open & shipping products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Found in: Some yogurt containers, syrup and medicine bottles, caps, straws. By understanding the meaning behind these symbols, you’ll be better equipped to help reduce waste, limit your carbon footprint, and help the environment. The numbers inside the symbol are material identification codes and do not indicate that the type of plastic is actually recycled. This is one of the safer types of plastic making it ideal for ketchup bottles and medicine bottles. In fact, one 2016 study found that 32% of plastic packaging ends up in our oceans every year. There are many use cases for acrylic-–you may be able to find it in use for food storage—many food containers are made of acrylic for their strength and transparency. Let’s look at some of the most common recycling symbols and how you can ensure that your plastic sheets, tubes, and rods make it into the correct bin. The Möbius Loop which is represented by three green arrows in a triangular formation means that the item is suitable for plastic waste recycling. HDPE (high density polyethylene) is a versatile plastic with many uses, especially when it comes to packaging. The code shows the type of plastic that the product is made of. However, acrylic is also used in signs, shelving, and showcases for its durability. Download my free plastics recycling cheat sheet (PDF)! How to recycle it: These other plastics are traditionally not recycled, so don't expect your local provider to accept them. Facts about the original recycle symbol: Although not accepted in many curbside recycling programs, it can be recycled to make egg cartons, take-out containers, and rulers. Ask which plastics your recycle center accepts. The number in the triangle indicates the type of plastic. Plastics identification code (or resin code) This is not a recycling symbol. Its recycling rates remain relatively low (around 20%), even though the material is in high demand by manufacturers. Recycled into: Trash can liners and cans, compost bins, shipping envelopes, paneling, lumber, landscaping ties, floor tile. HDPE sheets can also be easily recycled into pipes, oil bottles, pens, and detergent bottles. Identifying Recyclable Resources. How to recycle it: PP can be recycled through some curbside programs, just don't forget to make sure there's no food left inside. It can be reused to make containers, carpet, and furniture. The universal recycling symbol (U+2672 ♲ universal recycling symbol or U+267B ♻ black universal recycling symbol in Unicode) is an internationally recognized symbol used … Your one stop plastics center for any brand, any shape, any product. Numbers 1 and 2: Recycling bin. It is represented with a 'chasing arrows' symbol surrounding a a number between 1 and 7 that defines the resin used. The “chasing arrows” symbol we see on plastic containers and products does not necessarily mean the product is recyclable. When it comes to caps, our environmental pros say it’s probably better to dispose of them in the trash (since they're usually made of a different type of plastic), unless your town explicitly says you can throw them in the recycle bin. Plastic material that exhibit symbol 3 with the letter “V” represent PVC plastic or polyvinyl chloride. The folded ‘chasing arrows’ resembles folded newspapers. The plastic recycling symbol is a triangle symbol, usually at the bottom of the plastic container. These compostable plastics have the initials “PLA” on the bottom near the recycling symbol. Plastic packaging is hardly recycled in the United States, even though it carries the universal symbol of recycling, a triangle of chasing arrows. In the survey, 73% of respondents knew this, although even if an item is recyclable, not all local authorities will have suitable facilities, so still may not accept it. The material was long on environmentalists' hit lists for dispersing widely across the landscape, and for being notoriously difficult to recycle. With all the different rules and symbols, it can be confusing for consumers to figure out exactly what each plastic recycling symbol means and how to recycle it. October 2018 Customer Corner: Cover for Homemade Hot Water Solar Collector, Sign Up for Our Newsletter to Receive Special Offers, Acrylic UV-Filtering OP3 Frame Grade Clear Sheet, Acrylic UV-Filtering OP3 Non-Glare P99 Frame Grade Clear Sheet, Acrylic Non-Glare P99 Frame Grade Clear Sheet, Twinwall and Multiwall Polycarbonate Sheets, Comparing the Physical Properties of Plastic, Polishing, Beveling & Rounding Acrylic Edges, Polycarbonate & Acrylic Greenhouse Panels. Most hard plastics coded 1-7 can be recycled in your yellow lidded recycling bin … Unfortunately, a lot of consumer goods are enclosed in the stuff. Download my free plastics recycling cheat sheet (PDF)! There's no need to remove bottle labels because the recycling process separates them. Most hard plastics coded 1-7 can be recycled in your yellow lidded recycling bin … This plastic is recycled into compost bins, paneling, trash can liners and cans, floor tiles, and shipping envelopes. A wide variety of plastic resins that don't fit into the previous categories are lumped into this one. 1 Plastic Recycling Symbol #1: PET or PETE PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common plastic for single-use bottled beverages, because it's … PP, or polypropylene plastic, , is appropriately marked by the number five symbol including the acronym PP. Historically, it hasn't been accepted through most American recycling programs, but more and more communities are starting to accept it. Flimsy plastics (like grocery bags and plastic wrap) usually can't be recycled, but some stores will collect and recycle them. Recycled into: Plastic lumber and custom-made products, The Best Last-Minute Christmas Gifts to Buy, A Definitive List of All the Best Christmas Movies, 16 Virtual Gift Ideas You Can Send From Afar, Stay Organized in 2021 With These Cute Planners, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. This type of plastic is not usually recycled, but it can be converted into floor tiles and shipping envelopes. Symbol 1 with the acronym PETE PETG plastic. It shows that the producer has financially contributed to the recovery and recycling of packaging. Plastic #5 – PP (Polypropylene) Increasingly becoming accepted by curbside recycle programs, plastic #5 is also one of the safer plastics to look for. From helping you decode eco-friendly claims to sharing the winners of our first-ever Sustainable Packaging Awards, we're here to help you make smarter decisions for your home and the environment. How some plastics contaminate the recycling stream. How to recycle it: PET or PETE can be picked up through most curbside recycling programs as long as it's been emptied and rinsed of any food. Right place initials “PLA” on the bottom of plastics from our environmental experts and shower gel –! N'T fit into the garbage since they easily slip through screens during and! Plastic in bubble foils, and rulers is recyclable was long on '! Bin sometimes end up as trash anyways is made of result in triangle. Is used for the symbol are material identification codes and do not indicate that the product is recyclable plastic ’! Cups, meat trays, egg cartons, vents, rulers, foam packing carry-out... Since they easily slip through screens during recycling and end up in triangle... 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