Monday, June 30, 2008

recycling - what do those number mean?

What Do Those Numbers Mean?

Do you know what the numbers on the bottom of the plastic containers mean? They identify the type of plastic the container is made of. There are seven types of consumer plastics, but only certain types of plastics are currently recyclable. It is important for us to know what each container is made of.

Below describes what the number stands for and some common uses of the container.
#1 PETE: Polythylene Terephthalate Commonly used in soft drink, juice and cough syrup containers and microwave trays.
#2 HDPE: High Density PolythyleneCommonly used in milk jugs and detergent and shampoo bottles.
#3 V: Polyvinyl ChlorideCommonly used in film for meat packaging and some rigid plastic containers.
#4 LDPE: Low Density PolythyleneCommonly used in newspaper and grocery bags and butter cup lids.
#5 PP: PolypropyleneCommonly used in yogurt and pancake syrup containers and deli trays.
#6 PS: PolystyreneCommonly used in plastic.
#7: Everything that does not fall into the above categories.

Waste Pro currently accepts recyclables with the numbers 1-7 stamped on the item, as well as plastic shopping bags. In this decade, it is projected that Americans will throw away over 1 million tons of aluminum cans and foil, more than 11 million tons of glass bottles and jars, over 4 and a half million tons of office paper and nearly 10 million tons of newspaper. Almost all of this material could be recycled.

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