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UNDERSTANDING 7 PLASTIC RECYCLING SYMBOLS FOR BETTER RECYCLING

Posted on March 01 2017

Have you checked your plastic products for these 7 symbols?

Plastic, we use it daily for cups, water bottles, yoghurt pots, butter tubs, strawberry punnet's and so much more. Each plastic we use can vary in shape, size, texture and colour and transparency and thats because there are various types of plastic and this is important to know when it comes recycling these materials. The producers of plastic have made our lives a little easier when recycling by embossing a number on our plastic goods, this is all well and good but do we all know what they mean? We have taken the time to help you better understand the 7 plastic recycling symbols also known as resin identification codes (RIC). 

#1 Plastic - Represented by a number 1 surrounded  by 3 arrows in a triangle this plastic is Polyethylene Terephthalate, better known as PET or PETE and it's our favourite plastic to work with. It is highly recyclable and this is why we use this plastic for our Beard Wash, Beard Conditioner, Body Wash, Hair Shampoo and Hair Conditioner  bottles. Collected by most roadside recycling collections this plastic is recycled into tote bags, fibre, supermarket and shopping centre furniture and of course bottles. Should this plastic find its way to land fill it will not leach into the earth like some plastics. 

#2 Plastic - Represented by a number 2 surrounded by 3 arrows in a triangle our second plastic is HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), this plastic can also be found commonly around the house for soap bottles, bleach bottles, milk bottles and so on. The plastic is usually opaque or translucent and is another very recyclable material and that is why HDPE is used in the lids for our plastic bottles. 

#3 Plastic - Represented by a number 3 surrounded by 3 arrows in a triangle our third plastic is PVC or V or Polyvinyl Chloride. Often found in guttering, pipes, doors, windows and garden furniture PVC is surprisingly a plastic that is extensively recycled in Europe at least. So the next time you have broken a plastic garden chair it may be worth seeing if you can recycle it to save it going to land fill! (Remember to check with your local recycling authorities about any of the plastic named here as whether they can or cannot be recycling is dependant on your area). 

#4 Plastic - Represented by a number 4 surrounded by 3 arrows in a triangle our fourth plastic is LDPE or Low Density Polyethylene and this plastic can often be found as carrier bags, plastic multi-can loop holders and tubing. Usually soft this plastic is very common but sadly this is not commonly collected by curb side collections. Some supermarkets do offer a return on plastic bags. The best way to recycle this product is to reuse your plastic bags. Remember ring holders for beers can be dangerous to wildlife when thrown in the bin. Horror stories of animals getting caught up in the plastic ring holders have been told where animals have drowned or gotten caught and starved to death. Remember to cut all the loops to prevent this happening! 

#5 Plastic - Represented by a number 5 surrounded by 3 arrows in a triangle our fifth plastic is PP or Polypropylene which can be found as food packaging and car parts. Some curb side collections will take this plastic but do check with your local authorises before doing so. In our area this plastic is currently non recyclable but if it is in your area recycle it as much as possible to prevent it going to landfill. 

#6 Plastic - Represented by a number 6 surrounded by 3 arrows in a triangle our sixth plastic is Polystyrene or PS. We all know this plastic very well and sadly it isn't recycled as much as we want it to be with only very few curb side collections recycling this plastic each year. This plastic is usually found as protection on electrical goods, throw away cups, packaging peanuts and insulation. Our packaging peanuts your will find in our parcels are NOT made from this material and are biodegradable, our little bit for the environment. 

#7 Plastic - Represented by a number 7 surrounded by 3 arrows in a triangle our seventh plastic is Other... Yep, every other plastic, acrylic, nylon and much much more. These plastics aren't recycled.

We hope this guide gives you a better idea of what sort of plastic you have and if it can be recyclable. Whilst the RIC are there to tell us what plastic it is it should not be confused with an indication of whether or not it can be recycled. When the RIC was created only plastics 1 and 2 were recyclable but these days a lot more can be recycled which is GREAT! This guide was created to let you know what to look for and to get you get in touch with your local authorities, we may all be accustom to getting rid of plastics 1 and 2 on the curb side but we now need to see how we can recycle our other plastics. Doing this together can have a massive impact on the earth in years to come. Lets stop so much plastic going to land fill.  

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