Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products. It poses low risk of leaching breakdown products. Many plastics can be readily recycled, but according to National Geographic, a whopping 91% of plastic has never even been recycled. Bill Loyd and Gary Anderson designing the recycling symbol. Symbol 4 with the acronym LDPE indicates that the plastic is made from LDPE plastic, which stands for low-density polyethylene. How to recycle it: HDPE can often be picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only containers with necks. There are several recycling symbols, many of which can become confusing if you aren’t up to speed on what they mean. 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 carries low risk of leaching and is readily recyclable into many types of goods. It's gradually becoming more accepted by recyclers. Additionally, expanded PVC foam board is used for a wide variety of commercial applications. Found in: Soft drinks, water, ketchup, and beer bottles; mouthwash bottles; peanut butter containers; salad dressing and vegetable oil containers. Thanks to its durability, strength, and low weight, this plastic is utilized in furniture, luggage, toys, and the lining and external borders of cars. This plastic is commonly used in toys, hard packing, refrigerator trays, cosmetic bags, costume jewelry, CD cases, and vending cups. That means anything made with LDPE (like toothpaste tubes) can be thrown in the trash. The number in the triangle indicates the type of 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. Recycled into: Insulation, light switch plates, egg cartons, vents, rulers, foam packing, carry-out containers. 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. The numbers inside the symbol are material identification codes and do not indicate that the type of plastic is actually recycled. It advises what type of plastic the item is made from but not if it is recyclable. 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. Found in: Squeezable bottles; bread, frozen food, dry cleaning, and shopping bags; tote bags; furniture. Recycling can be tough knowing that the items in your recycle bin sometimes end up in landfills. Recycling is sometimes more complicated than it needs to be, which has terrible consequences on your local recycling program and the environment. 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. Acme has a proud heritage of customer service and reliability since 1943. Recycled into: Decks, paneling, mud-flaps, roadway gutters, flooring, cables, speed bumps, mats. More about how to recycle plastic bottles. 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. You may come across this plastic in bubble foils, and trays for sweets and fruit. The best option is to consult your municipality's website for specific instructions. Download my free plastics recycling cheat sheet (PDF)! Its recycling rates remain relatively low (around 20%), even though the material is in high demand by manufacturers. 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. Ultimately, it is important remain aware of local laws on recycling and be able to identify plastic … It is represented with a 'chasing arrows' symbol surrounding a a number between 1 and 7 that defines the resin used. 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 ♻. 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 recycling logo consists of a number in the middle. 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. Not every plastic can be recycled. Plastic #5 – PP (Polypropylene) Increasingly becoming accepted by curbside recycle programs, plastic #5 is also one of the safer plastics to look for. Remember to never burn PVC, because it releases toxins. The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) introduced a code system in 1988 that helps with recycling plastic by numbers. Recycled into: Trash can liners and cans, compost bins, shipping envelopes, paneling, lumber, landscaping ties, floor tile. Historically, it hasn't been accepted through most American recycling programs, but more and more communities are starting to accept it. Essentially, most thermoplastics (which are flexible and are typically containers for packaging consumer goods like drink bottles) can and should be recycled. This is one of the safer types of plastic making it ideal for ketchup bottles and medicine bottles. 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. 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. This plastic is recycled into compost bins, paneling, trash can liners and cans, floor tiles, and shipping envelopes. 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). Plastic packaging is hardly recycled in the United States, even though it carries the universal symbol of recycling, a triangle of chasing arrows. However, acrylic is also used in signs, shelving, and showcases for its durability. Plastic packaging is hardly recycled in the United States, even though it carries the universal symbol of recycling, a triangle of chasing arrows. 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. 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. How to recycle it: LDPE is not often recycled through curbside programs, but some communities might accept it. This plastic comes in the form of shopping bags, highly-resistant sacks, and crushed bottles. The plastic is easily recyclable so it’s often part of curbside recycling programs. This identifies the type of plastic resin used to make the item by providing a 'Resin Identification Code'. Flimsy plastics (like grocery bags and plastic wrap) usually can't be recycled, but some stores will collect and recycle them. 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. Why trust us? For symbol 7 plastics, be sure to confirm with your local recycling program. The folded ‘chasing arrows’ resembles folded newspapers. In the end, separating plastics accordingly helps waste management professionals ensure that the right materials end up in the right place. Because chlorine is part of PVC, it can result in the release of highly dangerous dioxins during manufacturing. Just like we mentioned under HDPE, plastic shopping bags can often be returned to stores for recycling. Sometimes it seems like everything in modern America is made of plastic. 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. However, both acrylic and polycarbonate can be recycled and can be repurposed for future projects. Found in: Shampoo and cooking oil bottles, blister packaging, wire jacketing, siding, windows, piping. I will explain different composting or compo-stable symbols, what is the recycling symbol and what do the green or black recycling arrows mean. It can be reused to make containers, carpet, and furniture. 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. 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. The code shows the type of plastic that the product is made of. Plastics recycling cheat sheet. Which bin? In rare instances, it can be recycled for speed bumps, roadway gutters, and cables. PVC is rarely recycled and not usually part of a curbside recycling program. The number to found on the bottom of plastics is not a recycling symbol but rather a plastic or resin identification code. Plastic Recycling Symbol When the three arrows surround a number, that indicates the material is a type of plastic resin that can be recycled. 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. By understanding the meaning behind these symbols, you’ll be better equipped to help reduce waste, limit your carbon footprint, and help the environment. By understanding the number classifications, we can then determine the appropriate disposal route for our plastic products. The original idea for the symbol was to create a symbol for recycled paper. PS (polystyrene) can be made into rigid or foam products — in the latter case it is popularly known as the trademark Styrofoam. In fact, returned packaging is burned or dumped massively. Plastic Recycling The symbol above may contain a number which can be used to identify different types of plastic. 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. Some may also say “Compostable.” #7 plastics are not for reuse, unless they have the PLA compostable coding. Numbers 1 and 2: Recycling bin. It is commonly accepted by curbside recycling. 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. Plus, how to recycle the different types of plastics. Symbol 1 with the acronym PETE PETG plastic. 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. Most places still don't accept it in foam forms because it's 98% air. 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. 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 little number inside the triangle is there to help us identify the type of plastic used for the product. The PIC (Plastics Identification Code) makes it easy to identify different plastics with the symbol being embossed into most plastic made products. It is also increasingly being accepted in curbside recycling programs. 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. 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. In this article, we will discuss Recycling Symbols meanings, and Plastic Symbol number meanings (Resin Codes), recycling and recycle signs, logos for recycling. Most hard plastics coded 1-7 can be recycled in your yellow lidded recycling bin … detergent, shampoo and shower gel bottles – denoted by the number 2 within the triangle). PP, or polypropylene plastic, , is appropriately marked by the number five symbol including the acronym PP. 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. Your one stop plastics center for any brand, any shape, any product. The number to found on the bottom of plastics is not a recycling symbol but rather a plastic or resin identification code. Since they are both thermoplastics, they can be reheated without a loss in quality. Remember, if it's plastic it’s at ACME PLASTICS. Of course, the symbols themselves need explaining, too. Plastics aren't so great for the environment or our health. Symbol 1 with the acronym PETE PETG plastic. Each number represents a different material. Plastics recycling cheat sheet. In fact, one 2016 study found that 32% of plastic packaging ends up in our oceans every year. The plastic recycling symbol is a triangle symbol, usually at the bottom of the plastic container. Most hard plastics coded 1-7 can be recycled in your yellow lidded recycling bin … How to recycle it: These other plastics are traditionally not recycled, so don't expect your local provider to accept them. 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). 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. Found in: Some yogurt containers, syrup and medicine bottles, caps, straws. 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. 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. The problem is that if we throw non-recyclable plastics into the blue bin, they can contaminate the entire recycling stream. PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common plastic for single-use bottled beverages, because it's inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to recycle. 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. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and V (vinyl) is tough and weathers well, so it's commonly used for things like piping and siding. The recycling logo consists of … How to recycle it: PVC and V can rarely be recycled, but it's accepted by some plastic lumber makers. We are open & shipping products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plastics. These compostable plastics have the initials “PLA” on the bottom near the recycling symbol. Facts about the original recycle symbol: The plastic is easily recyclable so it’s often part of curbside recycling programs. Plastic Plastic can be one of the most confusing materials to identify for recycling. The Möbius Loop which is represented by three green arrows in a triangular formation means that the item is suitable for plastic waste recycling. There are numbers from 1 to 7 in the triangle. Unfortunately, a lot of consumer goods are enclosed in the stuff. PVC is also cheap, so it's found in plenty of products and packaging. Here at the Good Housekeeping Institute, our team is passionate about sustainability and the environment. 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. 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 … The material was long on environmentalists' hit lists for dispersing widely across the landscape, and for being notoriously difficult to recycle. 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