What is PET Plastic, PETE Plastic ?
Have you ever wondered what the numbers, or recycling symbols mean at the bottom of plastic bottles and containers?
If you don't then please look at your bottle for the symbols and have a read the below answer.
Every plastic container or bottle has a recycling symbol. The symbol is a number, ranging from 1 to 7, within a triangle(as shown above in the figure).They actually offer a great deal of information regarding the toxic chemicals used in the plastic, how likely the plastic is to leach, how much biodegradable the plastic is, and ultimately the safety of the plastic and its re-usability.
Symbol 1 – PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) : Usually clear and used to make soda and water bottles. Although considered as safe, but this plastic is known to allow bacteria and flavor to accumulate.
It’s found mostly in soda bottles, water bottles, beer bottles, salad dressing containers, mouthwash bottles, and peanut butter containers.Hence, mineral water bottles come with a statement : Please crush the bottle after use.
Symbol 2 – HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) : It’s found mostly in milk jugs, household cleaner containers, juice bottles, shampoo bottles, cereal box liners, detergent bottles, motor oil bottles, yogurt tubs, and butter tubs.ilk jugs, detergent bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs, and toiletries bottles are made of this. It is usually opaque. This plastic is considered safe and has low risk of leaching.
Symbol 3 – V or PVC (Vinyl) : Used to make food wrap, plumbing pipes, and detergent bottles, and is seldom accepted by curbside recycling programs. These plastics used to, and still may, contain phthalates, which are linked to numerous health issues ranging from developmental problems to miscarriages. They also contain DEHA, which can be carcinogenic with long-term exposure. DEHA has also been linked to loss of bone mass and liver problems. Never cook with or burn this plastic.
Symbol 4 – LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) : Low density polyethylene is most found in squeezable bottles, shopping bags, clothing, carpet, frozen food, bread bags, and some food wraps. This rests among the recycling symbols considered to be safe.
Symbol 5 – PP (Polypropylene) : It is typically found in yogurt containers, ketchup bottles, syrup bottles, and medicine bottles. It is one of the safest plastic to be used.
Symbol 6 – PS (Polystyrene) : Polystyrene is Styrofoam, which is notorious for being difficult to recycle, and thus, bad for the environment. This kind of plastic also poses a health risk, leaching potentially toxic chemicals, especially when heated. Most recycling programs won’t accept it.
Symbol 7 – Other, Miscellaneous : All of the plastic resins that don’t fit into the other categories are placed in the number 7 category. It’s a mix bag of plastics that includes polycarbonate, which contains the toxic bisphenol-A (BPA). These plastics should be avoided due to possibly containing hormone disruptors like BPA, which has been linked to infertility, hyperactivity, reproductive problems, and other health issues.
Avoid recycling symbols 3, 6, and 7. While Number 1 is considered safe, it is also best to avoid this plastic.
Look for symbols 2, 4, and 5, as these plastics are considered to be safest. These are the plastics to look for in terms of human and animal consumption.
So next time you buy bottles for storing drinking water, look for the symbols first, color,design and price could be compromised not your health.