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Plastic codes

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Image Made of Used in
Type1
PETE Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Soda & water containers, some waterproof packaging.
Type2
HDPE High-Density Polyethylene. Milk, detergent & oil bottles, Toys and plastic bags.
Type 3
V Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Food wrap, vegetable oil bottles, blister packages.
Type 4
LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene. plastic bags. Shrink wrap, garment bags.
Type 5
PP Polypropylene. Refrigerated containers, some bags, most bottle tops, some carpets, some food wrap.
Type 6
PS Polystyrene. Throwaway utensils, meat packing, protective packing.
Type 7
Others. Layered or mixed plastic.


These symbols are meant to indicate the type of plastic, not its recyclability.

  • Types 1 and 2 are commonly recycled.
  • Type 4 is less commonly recycled.
  • Type 7 No recycling potential.Must be landfilled.
  • The other types are generally not recycled, except perhaps in small test programs.
  • Common plastics polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) do not have recycling numbers.
  • Plastics 3, 6, and 7 probably contain BPA and should not be used to store anything that will be consumed by humans