When you want to recycle plastic it is useful to know the plastic recycling codes that you will find on the bottom of plastic bottles. This helps you to be a wise buyer so that you can limit your plastic purchases to ones that can be recycled.
These are the symbols that you will see on most plastic items.
This is what they mean:
PET 1 – Polyethylene Terephthalate. Used in most soft drink and water bottles. Ready made salad bowls and clear biscuit trays.
Recycled Uses: Pillow and sleeping bag fillers, carpeting and some clothing.
PE-HD or HDPE – High Density Polyethelene. Used in shopping bags, milk and juice bottles and icecream containers.
Recycled uses: Recycling and compost bins, buckets, posts, fencing and pipes.
V or PVC (No 3) – Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride. Common uses are in cosmetic containers, roof sheeting, bottles, shoe soles and hosepipes.
Recycled uses: Flooring, cables, speed bumps, mud flaps and mats.
PE-LD or LDPE – Low Density Polyethelene. Used in cling wrap, bin bags, squeezy bottles, irrigation tubing.
Recycled uses: Bin liners and bags.
PP – Polypropylene. Bottles, ice cream containers, chip bags, straws and microwave dishes.
Recycled uses: Pegs, bins, pipes, car battery cases and trays.
PS – Polystyrene (unfoamed) CD cases, plastic cutlery, cheap plastic toys.
Recycled uses:Coat hangers, stationary trays.
OTHER (No 7) – All resins and combination plastics. Used in car and appliance components, computers and other electronics.
Recycled uses: Car components, plastic timber products.
Plastic, particularly water and soda bottles, make up the bulk of landfill. Knowing these plastic recycling codes and knowing that they do have the ability to be recycled does not give a person with a green conscience free liberty in using them.
Consider carefully your purchases, stay away from bottled water and soft drinks and always remember to REDUCE before you recycle