Plastic Recycle Codes: What do they mean?

recycle_codes

Number 1 Plastics

PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) Found in: Soft drink, water and beer bottles; mouthwash bottles; peanut butter containers; salad dressing and vegetable oil containers; ovenable food trays. Recycling: Picked up through most curbside recycling programs. Recycled into: Polar fleece, fiber, tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, straps, (occasionally) new containers

PET plastic is the most common for single-use bottled beverages, because it is inexpensive, lightweight and easy to recycle. It poses low risk of leaching breakdown products. Recycling rates remain relatively low (around 20%), though the material is in high demand by remanufacturers.

Number 2 Plastics

HDPE (high density polyethylene) Found in: Milk jugs, juice bottles; bleach, detergent and household cleaner bottles; shampoo bottles; some trash and shopping bags; motor oil bottles; butter and yogurt tubs; cereal box liners Recycling: Picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only those containers with necks. Recycled into: Laundry detergent bottles, oil bottles, pens, recycling containers, floor tile, drainage pipe, lumber, benches, doghouses, picnic tables, fencing

HDPE is a versatile plastic with many uses, especially for packaging. It carries low risk of leaching and is readily recyclable into many goods.

Manuel Martinez

Project GreenBag, 2200 Market St, San Francisco, CA, 94114, United States