The plastics coding system is designed to help material recovery facilities (MRFs) sort plastics by resin type for clean and usable recycling streams. When more than one material is used to make the bottle, the code should always be “7” or other. Three chasing arrows surround numbers from 1 to 7, noting which material the bottle is made from.
1 – PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE) #
2 – HDPE – High Density Polyethylene #
3 – PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride (V) #
4 – LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene #
5 – PP – Polypropylene #
6 – PS – Polystyrene #
7- OTHER #
The applicable number, enclosed in the 3 chasing arrow symbols, should be embossed or debossed onto the base of all plastic containers larger than a fist. It is important to realize that not all plastic bottles coded 1-7 can be recycled. PET (1) and HDPE (2) can always be recycled in a single stream recycling bin. PVC (3) cannot be recycled. LDPE (4) and PP (5) can usually be recycled, but it is important for brand marketers to assist in educating their customers on what regions they can be recycled in. PS (6) and OTHER (7) can sometimes be recycled.
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