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. The PIC (Plastics Identification Code) makes it easy to identify different plastics with the symbol being embossed into most plastic made products. Many plastics can be readily recycled, but according to National Geographic, a whopping 91% of plastic has never even been recycled. Download my free plastics recycling cheat sheet (PDF)! There are numbers from 1 to 7 in the triangle. However, both acrylic and polycarbonate can be recycled and can be repurposed for future projects. Acme has a proud heritage of customer service and reliability since 1943. It was the late 1980s, and the plastics industry was under fire. A wide variety of plastic resins that don't fit into the previous categories are lumped into this one. 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. Recycled into: Trash can liners and cans, compost bins, shipping envelopes, paneling, lumber, landscaping ties, floor tile. Let’s look at some of the most common recycling symbols and how you can ensure that your plastic sheets, tubes, and rods make it into the correct bin. That means anything made with LDPE (like toothpaste tubes) can be thrown in the trash. These are also included in category #7, which can be confusing to the consumer. This is one of the safer types of plastic making it ideal for ketchup bottles and medicine bottles. 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. Styrene monomer (a type of molecule) can leach into foods and is a possible human carcinogen, while styrene oxide is classified as a probable carcinogen. Plastics. The numbers inside the symbol are material identification codes and do not indicate that the type of plastic is actually recycled. Its recycling rates remain relatively low (around 20%), even though the material is in high demand by manufacturers. 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. How to recycle it: These other plastics are traditionally not recycled, so don't expect your local provider to accept them. In the survey, 73% of respondents knew this, although even if an item is recyclable, not all local authorities will have suitable facilities, so still may not accept it. Each number represents a different material. Plus, how to recycle the different types of plastics. Found in: Disposable plates and cups, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, aspirin bottles, compact disc cases. Historically, it hasn't been accepted through most American recycling programs, but more and more communities are starting to accept it. Remember to never burn PVC, because it releases toxins. Facing heightened public concern about ever-increasing amounts of garbage, the image of plastics was falling dramatically. This plastic is recycled into compost bins, paneling, trash can liners and cans, floor tiles, and shipping envelopes. How to recycle it: HDPE can often be picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only containers with necks. PP, or polypropylene plastic, , is appropriately marked by the number five symbol including the acronym PP. Here's what each plastic recycling symbol means, along with examples it's found in and how to recycle it. 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. The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) introduced a code system in 1988 that helps with recycling plastic by numbers. Plastic packaging is hardly recycled in the United States, even though it carries the universal symbol of recycling, a triangle of chasing arrows. Since they are both thermoplastics, they can be reheated without a loss in quality. Most hard plastics coded 1-7 can be recycled in your yellow lidded recycling bin … The symbols—then collectively called the Resin Identification Code (RIC)—were developed in 1988 by the organization now known as the Plastics Industry Association. Bill Loyd and Gary Anderson designing the recycling symbol. The plastic is easily recyclable so it’s often part of curbside recycling programs. 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. 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. Additionally, expanded PVC foam board is used for a wide variety of commercial applications. More about how to recycle plastic bottles. PLA (polylactic acid), which is made from plants and is carbon neutral, also falls into this category. Plastics identification code (or resin code) This is not a recycling symbol. It advises what type of plastic the item is made from but not if it is recyclable. In the end, separating plastics accordingly helps waste management professionals ensure that the right materials end up in the right place. Recycling is sometimes more complicated than it needs to be, which has terrible consequences on your local recycling program and the environment. It's best to throw loose caps into the garbage since they easily slip through screens during recycling and end up as trash anyways. Plastic Recycling Symbol When the three arrows surround a number, that indicates the material is a type of plastic resin that can be recycled. It poses low risk of leaching breakdown products. The Mobius Loop with a number in the centre and a letter code bellow signifies what kind of plastic the packaging is made from. Compared with the lucrative recycling of metal, and similar to the low value of glass recycling, plastic polymers recycling is often more challenging because of low density and low value.There are also numerous technical hurdles to overcome when recycling plastic. It is represented with a 'chasing arrows' symbol surrounding a a number between 1 and 7 that defines the resin used. By understanding the number classifications, we can then determine the appropriate disposal route for our plastic products. Ultimately, it is important remain aware of local laws on recycling and be able to identify plastic … 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). The number to found on the bottom of plastics is not a recycling symbol but rather a plastic or resin identification code. Our expansive warehouse and manufacturing facility combined with experienced personnel assure that you receive the service and prices that you deserve. detergent, shampoo and shower gel bottles – denoted by the number 2 within the triangle). Plastic packaging is hardly recycled in the United States, even though it carries the universal symbol of recycling, a triangle of chasing arrows. 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. Just like we mentioned under HDPE, plastic shopping bags can often be returned to stores for recycling. Found in: Shampoo and cooking oil bottles, blister packaging, wire jacketing, siding, windows, piping. Plastic #4 rests among the recycling symbols considered to be safe. Plastic Plastic can be one of the most confusing materials to identify for recycling. How some plastics contaminate the recycling stream. In rare instances, it can be recycled for speed bumps, roadway gutters, and cables. The PIC (Plastics Identification Code) makes it easy to identify different plastics with the symbol being embossed into most plastic made products. PVC is also cheap, so it's found in plenty of products and packaging. Once you find a recycling center near you, it’s worth having a conversation about all seven recycle symbols. Which bin? There are several recycling symbols, many of which can become confusing if you aren’t up to speed on what they mean. Recycled into: Laundry detergent bottles, oil bottles, pens, recycling containers, floor tile, drainage pipe, lumber, benches, doghouses, picnic tables, fencing, shampoo bottles. Most hard plastics coded 1-7 can be recycled in your yellow lidded recycling bin … It is commonly accepted by curbside recycling. Numbers 3 to 7: Check your council's recycling advice. Plastic #4 rests among the recycling symbols considered to be safe. 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. LDPE (low density polyethylene) is a flexible plastic with many applications. It took Gary Anderson ‘a day or two’ to come up with his design. Facts about the original recycle symbol: It advises what type of plastic the item is made from but not if it is recyclable. It's gradually becoming more accepted by recyclers. Plastic resin codes. The original idea for the symbol was to create a symbol for recycled paper. These symbols will then help you organize your plastics for recycling or removal. This plastic is recycled into compost bins, paneling, trash can liners and cans, floor tiles, and shipping envelopes. The folded ‘chasing arrows’ resembles folded newspapers. You may come across this plastic in bubble foils, and trays for sweets and fruit. Unfortunately, a lot of consumer goods are enclosed in the stuff. Found in: Squeezable bottles; bread, frozen food, dry cleaning, and shopping bags; tote bags; furniture. Thanks to its lightweight and rigid properties, PVC plastic can be easily stamped, sawed, punched, nailed, riveted, or bonded using PVC adhesive. 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