Know your Plastics

Posted by Cathy ODonnell on


Did you know that there are 7 different types of symbols on the bottom of your plastic containers? These symbols are placed there to let consumers know the recyclability of a product.  Below is a guide to help you understand the symbols and the names of the different types of plastics you may order from us. 


#1 PET (PETE, Polyethylene teraphthalate) PET is a very common plastic. It is crystal clear and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is highly recyclable. PET often accounts for many of the disposable water bottles on the market. It is chemical resistant (to a point)  and great for uses from chemical to foods and cosmetics. It is available in many different colors and can be used for a variety of purposes from food to cosmetics and everything in between. 


#2 HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) You may reconize this as the plastic you see for most shampoo bottles or milk jugs. It is most often seen in natural (translucent can be seen through) or white. It is available in many different as a custom made bottle. It can also take on many shapes. It is highly recyclable with the majority of recycling programs accepting this form of plastic. It is also chemically resistant (to a point) and great for many uses. It comes in many shapes and sizes to adapt to your products needs. 


#3 PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) PVC may sound familiar as a type of plastic for plumbing pipes and it is indeed the same plastic in a different form. PVC is generally seen in a translucent form in plastic bottles.It is also chemically resistant can be food grade.  and  Its semi striped appearance make it a less than desirable look in a bottle for cosmetics, however this material is transformed into clear cosmetic bags with perfect clarity.


#4 LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene is very similar to HDPE but it is more pliable and flexible. It is usually available in stock colors of white and natural but can me made in a variety of colors. Many of the lotion tubes that are on the market are made from LDPE and are recyclable. 


#5 PP (Polypropylene) is a rigid plastic that has many uses but is most often seen in jars. This plastic can also be used in film and bags and also recyclable. It is available in many shapes sizes and colors. It is translucent and its clarity has improved greatly over the years. It is chemically resistant and holds a variety of products


#6 Polystyrene (PS) Polystyrene is a very rigid plastic that has a very high clarity. It is also most often seen in jars or cosmetic industry products. It can be temperamental when used along side essential oils but the rigid nature has encouraged the use of this material in lieu of glass. 

#7 Other     This sign can mean that the product is a variety of different plastics. It is not one plastic that fits into the category above. It also can mean one plastic in particular like polycarbonate. This number could also include some of the new bio plastics made of corn, cotton, tapioca or potato. 

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