There are various kinds of plastic being produced. However, not all plastics are created equal; while certain materials are viable for recycling, others are not. In addition, there are plastics that can be recycled, yet collection for these products is not easily available, making recycling more inconvenient, and subsequently, far less likely to happen. The best way to discover what types of plastic can be recycled is to call your city administration for specifics. As always, you should also educate yourself on the specifics, familiarizing yourself with the most important components of plastic recycling in order to better serve you in making future purchases and subsequent recycling decisions.
All plastic products contain specific codes normally located on the bottom of the container. Typically found in or around the three circular-forming triangles (the universal sign for recycling), these codes are reflective of that container’s recycling capabilities and related common uses. Below are a list of common combinations that define the recyclability of plastic materials most frequently utilized by consumers:
• PET/PETE – Polyethylene Terephthalate – A common plastic for household use. PET/PETE plastics are typically marked “1” for beverage bottles and containers for perishable food, such as salads.
• HDPE- High Density Polyethylene – A plastic most frequently found in consumer households, they are marked “2”. Examples of this are jugs of milk, shampoo bottles and powders or perfume bottles.
• PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride- These kinds of plastic materials are utilized for construction purposes. They are also used as packaging for fluid detergents. Labeled number “3,” they are typically accepted in both city and private recycling locations.
• LDPE- Low Density Polyethylene – This number “4” in the marking is most frequently reserved for trash bins and garbage liners.
• PP – Polypropylene – Marked with a “5,” polypropylene plastics are common use in most automobile manufacturing.
• PS – Polystyrene- Marked with “6,” this plastic material is common in packing supplies and in plastic kitchenware and cutlery.
These plastics listed above are the most commonly used types of plastic with known recycling abilities. As with any purchase decision, a quick internet search is a great way to find out how these and any other plastics may or may not be recycled. Don’t forget to do your due diligence, and contact your local