Recycling Plastics & BPA


Recycling Plastics

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is the mantra of the day. No matter how much to try to reduce the amount ofrecycle plastic symbol on bottom of article plastic that comes into your house, you're sure to end up with some. There are seven separate types or grades of plastic (resin codes). Some plastics will be recyclable through your local municipality and some won't. Here is a rundown on the seven types.

The number is within an arrowed recycle triangle usually stamped on the bottom of the plastic article.

plastic pop bottle - type 1

  1. No. 1 Plastic is polyethylene terephthalate, or PETE or PET. It is used in soda or pop containers. PETE can be recycled into fiberfill for pillows and sleeping bags and other food and drink containers.
  2. No. 2 Plastic is high-density polyethylene or HPDE. Milk jugs and laundry detergent bottles are made from HPDE. These items can be recycled, but need to be sorted by colour.
  3. No. 3 Plastic is polyvinyl chloride or PVC. It is used for pipes and medical tubing. It can be recycled and traffic cones and garden hoses are usually made from recycled PVC.plstic ketchup bottle
  4. No. 4 Plastic is low-density polyethylene or LDPE. It is used to make squeeze bottles for condiments like jelly and ketchup. LDPE can be recycled into landscape timber and garbage can liners.
  5. No. 5 Plastic is polypropylene or PP. It is used in storing food like yogurt and can be recycled into items from medicine bottles to battery cables.
  6. No. 6 Plastic is polystyrene. It's used in meat trays, and plastic cups and plates. If recycled, it is turned into foam packing material and license-plate frames.
  7. No. 7 Plastic incorporates all the other plastics not included in the first 6 categories. When recycle your plasticsrecycled, number 7 plastics are used to make plastic lumber.


You need to apply pressure to your municipality if they are not accepting all seven types of plastics for recycling. Here's a link to a chart provided by the American Chemistry Council.


BPA in Plastics

Do you have plastic food storage containers in your house, that you've had for years? They may contain BPA which can leach into your food if the food is acidic, or alkali, or reheated in a microwave oven.

Identifying which containers may contain BPA can be tricky. If your reusable container is so old it doesn't have the recycle symbol on the bottom, with the number in the middle, then it may be time to pitch it. If it has the number 7, then it DOES CONTAIN BPA and should not be used with food. Items with the numbers 3 and 6 may or may not contain BPA, there's no way of knowing, other than to contact the manufacturer. Items with the numbers 1,2,4 and 5 are "safe" plastics.




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