Influenced by recycling proponents around United States, the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. introduced Resin identification coding system. It was in 1988 when this scheme of separating (or grouping) plastic resin types to make it easier for recyclers to sort them out and to have a more systematic waste management system, was introduced. By following these guidelines, recycling could be more efficient and environmentally friendly as a result.
Guidelines in the Use of Recycling Number
The Society of the Plastics Industry in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) agreed on the following guidelines in using the code:
To help you recycle efficiently, below are the 6 different symbols that are helpful in creating your own household waste management and the description of plastic items that are good for recycling.
1 PET (or PETE) – Poly(ethylene terephthalate) PET is a clear, and tough resin that can contain gas and moisture. These are commonly used in bottles and other injection molded product containers. This resin is a good candidate for recycling as they come in great volumes in waste management systems, in the form of bottles for beverages, catsup, beer, jams, peanut butter, etc. Major industries recycle these for major uses such as textiles, carpet, films, and moldings.
2 HDPE – High-density Polyethylene – HDPE commonly found in may types of plastic bottles. Its high resistance to chemicals makes it the preferred material for packaging household and industrial material such as detergents, conditioner, shampoo, bleach, etc. Proper waste disposal, i.e., segregating, would have these items for recycling and become plastic shopping bags, wire and cable covering, re-usable shipping containers, etc.
3V Poly (vinyl cloride) – commonly known as PVC, these are categorized into two groups, namely, rigid and flexible materials. While used containers made from these are also highly sought for recycling, these have many industrial and household uses. Example of PVC "rigid materials" are blister packs, pipes, window frames, siding, and clamshells. Example of PVC "flexible materials" are seat covers, clear medical tubing, deli and meat wrap, etc.
4 LDPE – Low-density Polyethylene – commonly found in film application uses because of its toughness, it is relatively transparent and flexible. Example of uses are wrapping films, your everyday plastic grocery or shopping bags, etc.
5 PP – Polypropylene – this is good for containing very hot fluids as it has very good chemical resistance and is a strong material. A very good example would be Tupperware products (which have their own recycling system), diapers, bottle caps and closures, etc.
6 PS – Polystyrene – this is a very versatile plastic material that can either be rigid or foamed. Examples are coffee cups, bakery shells, Styrofoam insulation, etc. Polystyrene can also be combined with rubber to produce high impact polystyrene, which is good for uses that require toughness.
7 OTHER – this means that the package is made up of a resin type that is not included in any of the above-mentioned six, or it usually is a package that contains a combination of the previously mentioned codes. These are mostly packages that have been products of previous recycling.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
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