What those Plastic Recycling Codes Mean

November 15, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recycling plastic is not as cut and dry as the recycling of paper and cardboard items such as cereal boxes, newspapers and magazines. Plastic recycling is a little bit different, that’s why plastic items have a Plastic Identification Code (PIC). This number and letter identifying code is used to indicate whether or not the plastic can be recycled into new products. There are seven groups of polymers that make up the PIC.

1 – PET (Polyethylene terephthalate): These are typically items such as water and soft drink bottles.
2 – PE-HD (High-density polyethylene): Think of the material that a hula-hoop ring is made up of and you have this group.
3 – PVC (Polyvinyl chloride): This one explains itself, it’s PVC piping.
4 – PE-LD (Low-density polyethylene): Squeezable mustard and ketchup bottles is this sort of plastic.
5 – PP (Polypropylene): You’re bound to find disposable cups/plates, yogurt containers and disposable containers made up of this plastic.
6 – PS (Polystyrene): If you’ve handled packing peanuts, disposable cutlery or egg cartons, you’ve seen this plastic.
7 – Other: Fairly self explanatory.  Can often times include electronics casings.

Whether or not you will be able to recycle the plastic that you may be holding in your hand is up to your town and their recycling services. Different towns may have different plastic recycling equipment at their disposal.  Consult with your recycling facility to determine which PIC they accept.


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