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Know your plastic number PDF Print E-mail

Did you know?
In line with our slogan, plastic products are making our lives better and safer in countless way. Plastic products are used so widely but some people may ignore some significant points while using them. Be a smart consumer, you must be aware of the safety or proper use of a plastic product.
Here are some tips and hints in using plastic products.

Know your plastic number
Products with different plastic number reflect different plastic material and characteristics. Some plastic materials may pose health risks, some are recommended for a single use and some plastics are problem-free. People are confused about whatís safe and whether or not to even use plastic.
Here's a quick plastics primer:

No.1 Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). A light-weighted plastic, is commonly found in bottles of soda, juice, and water. PET bottles are intended for a single use as PET breaks down with use and cannot be properly cleaned. PET product is not toxins but the buildup of bacteria due to insufficient cleaning. Scratches and imperfections in the plastic may host germs.

No.2 High-density polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is made from petroleum; this plastic is pliable, opaque, and is considered one of the safer plastics. Its many uses include sport bottles, cloudy milk jugs, cereal box liners, trash and shopping bags, and shampoo and cleaning supply bottles. It's also curbside recyclable.

No.3 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These materials should probably be set aside for nonfood usage. Number 3 has been known as "toxic plastic" due to the softeners (DEHA) that with long-term exposure may cause cancer and other health issues.

No.4 Low-density polyethylene (LDPE). LDPE is used in making breads bags, shopping bags, hard drive casings, CD and DVD cases and some bottles. LDPE isnít regarded as a Ďbadí plastic and†it is recyclable.

No.5 Polypropylene (PP). †PP is a good option when choosing safe, toxin-free food and beverage containers. It is recyclable.

No.6 Polystyrene or Styrofoam (PS). PS also known as Styrofoam has been used in making plastic tableware such as disposable cups and takeout containers. This plastic may leach styrene compounds, and may disrupt hormonal functioning.

No.7 Others. A clear, solid, shatterproof plastic made with polycarbonate (PC), specifically Bisphenol A (BPA). It may pose serious health risks. The safer plastic containers to choose are those labeled with the numbers 2, 4 and 5.

Recycling is the process of re-using a given product (beyond its intended use), or producing a new product from a recyclable material (clean-energy-ideas.com, 2009). Not all types of plastic can be recycled. However, you may discover whether the plastic is recyclable through its plastic number.