Different cities and towns accept different types of plastics for recycling. Found in: Squeezable bottles; bread, frozen food, dry cleaning, and shopping bags; tote bags; furniture. Found in: Three- and five-gallon water bottles, bullet-proof materials, sunglasses, DVDs, iPod and computer cases, signs and displays, certain food containers, nylon. Classic Colonial From 1672 on Long Island Is the Week's Oldest Home for Sale, What the Flip? PET or PETE is what’s used to make bottles for soda, water and other drinks. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), a strong, stiff synthetic fibre and resin and a member of the polyester family of polymers. For instance, a #1 (PET) is very commonly recycled while a #7 (Other) cannot be recycled in many places. Plastics with this number are also picked up by most curbside programs and can be recycled into many kinds of goods. 7 Currently, only PET is approved for food contact when using mechanical recycling of post-consumer PET waste. “Unfortunately, this promise is a hollow one as most plastic products, except for those with Nos. The versatile material is in our cars, toys, packaging, clothing, home goods, food utensils, and so much more — but it's also littering our streets, clogging our waterways, and choking marine life. 2: HDPE (High density polyethylene) A wide variety of plastic resins that don't fit into the previous categories are lumped into this one. Alternatively, use our recycling database to find a cash-based recycling system that will reward you for your green efforts with money for your deposit-laden plastics. Recycling PET Plastics Makes Sense . The most common types of No. Otherwise known as Styrofoam, PS is used to make everything from hot beverage cups, take-out food containers, and packaging peanuts. Recycled into: Plastic lumber and custom-made products, How to Best Alleviate COVID-19 Symptoms at Home, These Reusable Grocery Bags Make Shopping a Breeze, How to Read the 'Bridgerton' Books in Order, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. This high impact plastic is used for things like beverage bottles, food jars and frozen food trays. 7 Things You're Recycling Wrong: How Many Are in Your Blue Bin Right Now? Here is a breakdown of the recycling codes and what they all mean: #1 PET – This is a type of plastic commonly used in water bottles, blister packs, and clear food packaging. 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. “Thankfully, it only takes a second to Google 'which plastic codes does my recycling center accept' to decide which items [you] can or cannot throw into your recycling bin.”. Just like we mentioned under HDPE, plastic shopping bags can often be returned to stores for recycling. How to recycle it: These other plastics are traditionally not recycled, so don't expect your local provider to accept them. For example, San Diego may accept No. PET is a remarkably energy-efficient packaging material. 8 Myths About Renting You Should Stop Believing Immediately, 6 Ways Home Buyers Mess Up Getting a Mortgage, 6 Reasons You Should Never Buy or Sell a Home Without an Agent, Difference Between Agent, Broker & REALTOR, Real Estate Agents Reveal the Toughest Home Buyers They’ve Ever Met, The 5 Maintenance Skills All Homeowners Should Know, Click for complete coronavirus coverage from realtor.com, Don't Toss That! Although the feedstocks for PET are petroleum based, the environmental impact of PET is very favorable in comparison to glass, aluminum and other container materials. The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) defines PET as: "Polyethyl… The recycling numbers range from 1 to 7 and stand for different types of plastic. Although there is demand for recycled PET , the recycling rate in the U.S. was 29.2% in 2017 , the latest year for which data was available, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the Association of … It’s accepted by most curbside recycling programs and can be recycled to make items like egg cartons, containers, carpet, and more. HDPE or PE-HD. PET is considered a highly recyclable plastic. Especially when it comes to recycling.” With something like recycling, one might assume it is fine to mix similar resins like PET and PETG. Widely accepted by the majority of curb side pick ups While the universal plastic resin symbol (three chasing arrows forming a triangle) remains the same, the numbers one through seven inside make a significant difference. The Meanings of The Recycling Symbols: Plastic #1 - PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Yes- Recycle this A plastic resin and the most common type of polyester. Found in: Shampoo and cooking oil bottles, blister packaging, wire jacketing, siding, windows, piping. This Refurbished Asheville, NC, Home Made a 6-Figure Profit, Matt Damon Selling Modern Pacific Palisades Estate for $21M, 5 Things You Didn’t Know a VA Loan Could Do for You, ‘Home Town’ Reveals One Thing in Your House That You’ll Regret Tossing. Other materials are not approved. How to recycle it: HDPE can often be picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only containers with necks. It poses low risk of leaching breakdown products. How to recycle it: Not many curbside recycling programs accept PS in the form of rigid plastics (and many manufacturers have switched to using PET instead). If you need to dispose of either material, ask your local waste management to see if you should put it in the trash or drop it off at a collection center. What Do the Recycle Triangles on the Bottom of Plastics Mean?. PS (polystyrene) can be made into rigid or foam products — in the latter case it is popularly known as the trademark Styrofoam. Found in: Soft drinks, water, ketchup, and beer bottles; mouthwash bottles; peanut butter containers; salad dressing and vegetable oil containers. “As technology improves, recycling centers are beginning to accept plastics that they weren't able to process in the past. Manufacturers use PET plastic to package products because of its strength, thermo-stability and transparency. So, the plastic codes make it seem like the symbols mean that the plastic is “recyclable.” However, depending on your location, some plastics may not be accepted into the waste management system. Recycling: All PET plastic bottles can be recycled. Don't Neglect These 6 Maintenance Tasks—or Else, Debunked! 8 Directive (EU) 2019/904 requires 25% recycled plastic by 2025 in PET bottles … Found in: Disposable plates and cups, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, aspirin bottles, compact disc cases. How to recycle it: PET or PETE can be picked up through most curbside recycling programs as long as it's been emptied and rinsed of any food. RPET is the short name often used for recycled polyethylene tetraphyte (PET). To help you understand the different categories, here’s a breakdown of those tiny numbers. In many countries, PET plastics are coded with the resin identification code number "1" inside the universal recycling symbol, usually located on the bottom of the container. Found in: Milk jugs; juice bottles; bleach, detergent, and other household cleaner bottles; shampoo bottles; some trash and shopping bags; motor oil bottles; butter and yogurt tubs; cereal box liners. PET bottles can be recycled into new containers, pallet straps, paneling, carpet and clothing fibers, and fiberfill for soft furnishings and sleeping bags. Polyester resins are known for their excellent combination of properties such as mechanical, thermal, chemical resistance as well as dimensional stability. Since foam products tend to break apart into smaller pieces, you should place them in a bag, squeeze out the air, and tie it up before putting it in the trash to prevent pellets from dispersing. 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. We’ll explain a bit more about PET below, but for now, just know that it is the world’s fourth most common plastic resin, used in everything from food packaging to clothing. This type of plastic is found in milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, household cleaner bottles, motor oil bottles, and juice bottles. The plastic is crushed and then shredded into small flakes which are then reprocessed to make new PET bottles, or spun into polyester fiber. Three arrows in a triangle means that the item is capable of being recycled. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) is a general-purpose thermoplastic polymer which belongs to the polyester family of polymers. It’s also used to make cooking oil containers, plastic peanut butter jars and containers for other popular food items. It is an estimate that the average household generates … You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, Inside the 2020 Raise the Green Bar Summit, 45 Easy Changes You Can Make to Save the Earth, How to Dispose of Household Items the Right Way, The Truth About What "Eco-Friendly" Actually Means, 30+ Endangered Animals You Should Know About, The Best Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags, Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping Institute, Plastic Recycling Symbol #7: Miscellaneous. Purification and decontamination. 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. In fact, one 2016 study found that 32% of plastic packaging ends up in our oceans every year. Flimsy plastics (like grocery bags and plastic wrap) usually can't be recycled, but some stores will collect and recycle them. There's no need to remove bottle labels because the recycling process separates them. PLA (polylactic acid), which is made from plants and is carbon neutral, also falls into this category. But we still have to help them out,” says Ryan. Some consider it safe, but this plastic is known to allow bacteria to accumulate. These can then be recycled into items such as flower pots, toys, traffic cones, and trash cans. Add to that its strength, versatility, and recyclability, and PET boasts an excellent sustainability profile. So it’s best to find out what is acceptable in your municipality before tossing any ol' plastic into your blue bin. But what do the numbers inside the triangle mean? RPET plastics are a similar form to PET. Thus it is accepted at most recycling plants. It … Although recycling is the most environmentally responsible and efficient re-use of resources, PET bottles and containers that find their way to the landfill pose no risk of harm or leaching. Recycling of PET will help to reduce dependence on oil and gas, reduce landfill waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Customers choose PET because it is inexpensive, lightweight, resealable, shatter-resistant and recyclable. Never heat PETE 1 plastic as this causes antimony leach which is a toxic chemical. The Recycling Symbols Plastic #1 – PETE or PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Picked up by most curbside recycling programs, plastic #1 is usually clear and used to make soda and water bottles. PP (polypropylene) has a high melting point, so it's often chosen for containers that will hold hot liquid. Her work has been featured in Military Officer, California Lawyer, the American Scholar, and PracticeLink magazines. Here at the Good Housekeeping Institute, our team is passionate about sustainability and the environment. No. These bales are then sent to Placon in Madison, WI to be made into EcoStar post-consumer PET packaging. Leave your PET recycling for curbsite pick-up, or take it into your local drop off recycling center. Recycled into: Polar fleece, fiber, tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, straps, bottles and food containers (as long as the plastic being recycled meets purity standards and doesn't have hazardous contaminants). List of submissions for which FDA issued a favorable opinion on the suitability of a process for producing recycled plastic to be used in food contact articles. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a highly recyclable plastic resin and a form of polyester. But, while the addition of glycol to PET makes it less brittle, it is believed that it also causes PETG to have a higher processing temperature than PET, creating challenges for recycling. “When people toss stuff in the recycling bin that is not actually recyclable—think plastic bags, hoses, diapers, most mixed-material packaging—it adds costs to the system because the nonrecyclables must be sorted out,” says Lance Klug, public information officer for CalRecycle, the agency that oversees recycling in California. 11 Surprising Things You Can Recycle, Declutter Your Home, Don't Trash the Earth: 5 Things You Can Recycle Right Now. This type of plastic is not commonly recycled and is used to make everything from shower curtains to garden hoses. Also known as the resin identification code, or RIC, each number imprinted on a plastic product indicates the type of plastic resin that product is made with. First, read up on recycling tips from our environmental experts. The code does not mean the item is made from recycled plastic or that the plastic is recyclable in your area. 7 plastic include bottles, headlight lenses, and safety shields. Customers choose it for its safety, light weighPET Bottles Recyclingt, resealability, shatter-resistance and recyclability. PVC is also cheap, so it's found in plenty of products and packaging. Step 5: Local recycling companies then process the curbside collected PET plastic and is made into post-consumer PET bales. It was first synthesized in North America by Dupont chemists during the 1940s. 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. “But as it turns out, there are several different types of plastic, and some are easier for recycling centers to process than others.”. The success of any recycling concept is hidden in the efficiency of purification and decontamination at the right place during processing and to the necessary or desired extent. But it also helps recycling collectors determine what items they can accept — and which ones go in the trash. Sometimes it seems like everything in modern America is made of plastic. That means anything made with LDPE (like toothpaste tubes) can be thrown in the trash. As a main component in many of the plastic bottles used today, one of the most common discussions about PET plastics is recycling it. The plastic is easily recyclable so it’s often part of curbside recycling programs. How to recycle it: PVC and V can rarely be recycled, but it's accepted by some plastic lumber makers. PET/PETE products CAN be recycled. Remember to never burn PVC, because it releases toxins. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Consumer plastics commonly bear a triangle with a number inside, called a resin identification code — or more simply, a resin code. How to recycle it: LDPE is not often recycled through curbside programs, but some communities might accept it. Recycled PET bottles can also be turned into polyester fiber. Picked up by most curbside recycling programs, plastic #1 is usually clear and used to make soda and water bottles. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and V (vinyl) is tough and weathers well, so it's commonly used for things like piping and siding. Bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET, sometimes PETE) can be recycled and used to manufacture new bottles and containers, thermoform packaging, strapping and are also used in fiber applications such as carpet and apparel. The numbers and letters act as identification for the recycling teams. It is a polymer created by the combination of two monomers: modified ethylene glycol and purified terephthalic acid. We all know that the triangle symbol (♻) on the bottom of plastic bottles means to recycle. The best option is to consult your municipality's website for specific instructions. “It's not uncommon to see a recycling symbol on a plastic container and think it's OK to toss it into the recycling bin,” says Sheryl Ryan, founder of Greenopedia. PET plastic is recyclable and about 25% of PET bottles in the US today are recycled. Recycled into: Laundry detergent bottles, oil bottles, pens, recycling containers, floor tile, drainage pipe, lumber, benches, doghouses, picnic tables, fencing, shampoo bottles. some stores will collect and recycle them, studies have shown it as a hormone disruptor, 3 Suspect Plastics to Avoid in Baby Bottles, Water Bottles, More, 12 Companies with Great Recycling Programs, Companies Pushing the Boundaries on Recycling. PET was discovered and patented in England in 1941. PVC can rarely be recycled, but it is accepted by some plastic lumber makers. “For decades, consumers have looked at recycling symbols on plastic products—and the numbers inside—as a promise that their packaging can and will be recycled,” says Matt Littlejohn, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Oceana, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization. 1: Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE / PET) This number represents the most commonly recycled plastic, which is lightweight and easy to … It's gradually becoming more accepted by recyclers. PET is easily recycled via curbside recycling pickup services. Environmental facts. Get quick and easy access to your home value, neighborhood activity and financial possibilites. The first PET bottle to be recycled occurred in 1977. This means very few PET containers can re … ©1995-2021 National Association of REALTORS® and Move, Inc. All rights reserved.realtor.com® is the official site of the National Association of REALTORS® and is operated by Move, Inc., a subsidiary of News Corp. Anayat Durrani is a freelance education reporter for U.S. News and World Report. When the little triangle has a 2 inside and the code of either HDPE or PE-HD under it, you know that the plastic it adorns is made from high-density polyethylene. These are created after the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate. Why trust us? It is used for soft drink bottles, peanut butter jars, salad dressing bottles, plastic liquor bottles, mineral water containers, fruit juice containers, and cooking oil containers. PET is an acronym for polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic resin and a type of polyester. See: Plastic-Free Products for the Home The symbols have proven to be confusing to consumers. Its recycling rates remain relatively low (around 20%), even though the material is in high demand by manufacturers. Recoup’s ‘UK Household Plastics Collection Survey 2014’ confirmed that nearly 60% of PET plastic bottles in the household waste stream are now being collected for recycling - in 2001 this figure was just 3%. Plus, how to recycle the different types of plastics. LDPE (low density polyethylene) is a flexible plastic with many applications. It is recycled in some areas and used to make similar products like plastic wood, insulation, and hard-plastic pens. Used PET containers can be washed and re-melted into plasma, from which new items can be crafted. From helping you decode eco-friendly claims to sharing the winners of our first-ever Sustainable Packaging Awards, we're here to help you make smarter decisions for your home and the environment. However, it can be really hard to collect clean, high quality plastics! A container coded number 1 is polyethylene terephthalate, called PET or PETE. Plus, "there are times when your recycling program may change what it collects," says Mike Brown of Brown and Wilmanns Environmental, one of our environmental consultants. The number is a resin identification code, used to help recycling plants sort materials.Recyclable plastics are labeled with numbers 1-7 to tell workers what kind of plastic it is, and how it should be processed. Polycarbonate is number seven plastic, and it's the hard plastic that has worried parents after studies have shown it as a hormone disruptor. It carries low risk of leaching and is readily recyclable into many types of goods. When it comes to caps, our environmental pros say it’s probably better to dispose of them in the trash (since they're usually made of a different type of plastic), unless your town explicitly says you can throw them in the recycle bin. This figure continues to grow, but notably lags behind Europe, which has a PET recycling rate of 52%. type of plastic resin that product is made with. Some consider it safe, but this plastic is known to allow bacteria to accumulate. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the, Sorry, we were unable to share this article. Recycled into: Signal lights, battery cables, brooms, brushes, auto battery cases, ice scrapers, landscape borders, bicycle racks, rakes, bins, pallets, trays. The plastic items are shredded into tiny pallets and reprocessed into new bottles. Good Housekeeping participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. 1 = PET, Polyethylene Terephthalate, and is widely recycled. Found in: Some yogurt containers, syrup and medicine bottles, caps, straws. Like PET plastics, HDPE plastics are picked up by most curbside recycling companies. Other materials are not approved. Even if there isn't a way for your town to recycle a certain material, he says there's still a chance they might collect it anyways and either store it or dispose of it. The material was long on environmentalists' hit lists for dispersing widely across the landscape, and for being notoriously difficult to recycle. The current U.S. recycling rate for PET is 31%. Because chlorine is part of PVC, it can result in the release of highly dangerous dioxins during manufacturing. It's best to throw loose caps into the garbage since they easily slip through screens during recycling and end up as trash anyways. FYI: Just because a product has the chasing arrows symbol, doesn't mean it's recyclable — it's just an indicator of the type of plastic. Recycled into: Trash can liners and cans, compost bins, shipping envelopes, paneling, lumber, landscaping ties, floor tile. PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is the most common plastic for single-use bottled beverages, because it's inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to recycle. How to recycle it: PP can be recycled through some curbside programs, just don't forget to make sure there's no food left inside. Comments. LDPE items are not commonly recycled and are used to make cellophane wrap, produce bags, disposable diaper liners, and squeezable condiment bottles. Home Buyers Reveal: 'What I Wish I Had Known Before Buying My First Home', Selling Your Home? 5 plastics, but Phoenix may not. Many plastics can be readily recycled, but according to National Geographic, a whopping 91% of plastic has never even been recycled. Recycle 1 plastic The good news is that PET plastic is easy to recycle. For the best experience, please enable cookies when using our site. Most places still don't accept it in foam forms because it's 98% air. 1 and 2, are rarely actually recycled.”. Up to 100% of a PET package can be made from recycled PET, and the material can be recycled again and again. This number represents the most commonly recycled plastic, which is lightweight and easy to recycle. Plastics are classified into one of seven categories, each one a different material that is more or less easy to recycle. PET is spun into fibres for permanent-press fabrics and blow-molded into disposable beverage bottles. HDPE (high density polyethylene) is a versatile plastic with many uses, especially when it comes to packaging. This plastic is not commonly recycled and is used to make packaging pipes and tubes, medicine bottles, bottle caps, and straws. Click Follow Search to get alerts on new listings. Here's what each plastic recycling symbol means, along with examples it's found in and how to recycle it. The chasing arrows, to most of us, mean recycling. 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