03 February 2019

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Explained Meaning of Plastic Number mentioned on Plastic Products and Dangers

Explained Meaning of Plastic Number mentioned on Plastic Products and Dangers
Sunday, February 3, 2019

There are several types of plastics Some Plastic types are safe compared to others. Some Plastic types can be recycled and some not. Plastic products are commonly marked with a number enclosed by the recycling symbol, which is typically found on the bottom of the product. This symbol is used to identify the plastic and recyclability of the product.

Some Plastic types are good for health compared to other plastic types

Its very important to understand type of plastic.

All the plastic is not same that is reason plastic products like bottles are numbered.

On bottom of the most plastic bottles and food containers a Resin Identification Code is printed.

Resin Identification Code describes what kind of plastics resin the product is made out of

Society of the Plastics Industry code  [SPI]  is also known as a resin identification number and is used to classify the different types of plastic.

Below is a list of SPI Resin Code with kind of plastic

There are seven types of plastic which everyone needs to know which will help you take informed intelligent decisions regarding use of plastic in everyday life.

Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 1 – PETE or PET - recyclable
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 2 - HDPE - recyclable
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 3 - PVC - recyclable, but call your recycler
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 4 - LDPE - recyclable, but call your recycler
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 5 – PP - not recyclable
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 6 – PS - not recyclable
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 7 - Other plastics like nylon and styrene - not recyclable

Now let us understand each type of plastic number and in which product it is used and is that type of plastic is safe to use in everyday life.

Now Let us know more about  Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 1 -
Plastic #1 - PET or PETE stands for polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic resin and a form of polyester.
In 1940 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET) was introduced was J. Rex Whinfield and James T. Dickson
Where you will find Pet or Pete Plastic?
Pete Plastic is used to make bottles for soft drinks, water, juice, mouthwash, sports drinks and containers for condiments like ketchup, salad dressing, jelly and jam
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 1 or PETE or PET plastic is recyclable
Brominated compounds have also been found to leach into PET bottles.
Bromine is known to act as a central nervous system depressant, and can trigger a number of psychological symptoms such as acute paranoia and other psychotic symptoms.
Antimony is a heavy metal used in the production of PET and is a carcinogen. It’s best to discard the empty soft drink and juice bottles which are not really meant to store water.

PETE plastic should not be reused because cleaning detergents and high temperatures can cause chemicals to leach out of the plastic. Plastic #1 is only intended for one time use.

Now Let us know more about  Plastic Type Number 2 -
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 2 - HDPE – recyclable
HDPE stands for High-Density Polyethylene
High-density polyethylene is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum.

In 1953, Karl Ziegler and Erhard Holzkamp used catalysts and low pressure to create high-density polyethylene. It was first used for pipes in storm sewers, drains, and culverts.
HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic because it will not break under exposure to extreme heat or cold.

Most milk jugs, detergent and juice bottles, butter tubs, and toiletries containers are made of HDPE. Usually opaque in color, this plastic is considered safe and has low risk of leaching.

It's also used to make grocery bags and cereal box liners.

HDPE (like most plastics) has been found to release estrogenic chemicals.

These estrogenic chemicals can disrupt your hormones and even alter the structure of human cells, posing risks to infants and children

Now Let us know more about  Plastics Type No. 3 -

Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 3 - PVC -difficult to  recycle
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a thermoplastic polymer.
PVC is one of the oldest synthetic materials in industrial production. It was actually discovered on accident twice; once in 1838 by French physicist Henri Victor Regnault and again in 1872 by German chemist Eugen Baumann. On both occasions, these men found it inside vinyl chloride flasks left exposed to sunlight.
It is used to make food wrap, bottles for cooking oil, shower curtains, inflatable mattresses, and the common plumbing pipes.
PVC is not considered safe for cooking or heating.
It contains softening chemicals called phthalates that interfere with hormonal development.
Never cook using food wrap, especially in a microwave oven.
Check the labels of  baby toys  to ensure they are free of PVC
PVC flooring has been linked to chronic diseases including allergies, asthma and autism.

PVC can also be found in car interiors and vinyl flooring, resulting in the release of toxic chemicals into the air.

Avoid using cling wrap made with PVC.
Avoid inflatable structures, air mattresses
PVC is one of the least recycled materials; generally less than 1% of PVC plastic is recycled each year.
It has been called the "poison plastic" because it contains numerous toxins and is harmful to our health and the environment.
Say No To PVC check labels and avoid PVC.

Now Let us know more about  Plastic Type No. 4 -
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 4 - LDPE - recyclable, but call your recycler
LDPE means Low-Density Polyethylene
LDPE is a thermoplastic made from petroleum.
It can be found translucent or opaque. It is flexible and tough but breakable.
It is used in bags for bread, newspapers, fresh produce, household garbage and frozen foods, as well as in paper milk cartons and hot and cold beverage cups.
It does not contain BPA, it may pose risks of leaching estrogenic chemicals, similar to HDPE.
LDPE plastic is considered safe but problem with LDPE plastic is that It is not recyclable

Now Let us know more about  Plastic Type No. 5 -
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 5 – PP - not recyclable
J. Paul Hogan and Robert L. Banks of Phillips Petroleum Company discovered polypropylene in 1951. At the time, they were simply trying to convert propylene into gasoline, but instead discovered a new catalytic process for making plastic.

PP plastic is used to make containers for yogurt, deli foods, medications and takeout meals.

Polypropylene is considered microwave-safe because it is heat resistant and therefore won’t get warped in the microwave But it is not safe, always use microwave safe glass dishes.

Microwavable safe only means that the plastic will not warp when heated. It does not imply that it is a healthy practice.

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer. It is strong, tough, has a high resistance to heat and acts as a barrier to moisture.

Now Let us know more about Plastic Type No. 6 -
Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 6 – PS - not recyclable
Polystyrene (PS) is a petroleum-based plastic. It can either be hard or used in the form of styrofoam.
In 1839, German apothecary Eduard Simon accidentally came across polystyrene while preparing medication. He isolated a substance from natural resin and didn’t realize what he had discovered. It took German chemist Hermann Staudinger to research this polymer and expand on its uses.
Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam
Since polystyrene is lightweight and easy to form into plastic materials, it also breaks effortlessly, making it more harmful to the environment.
PS plastic leaches potentially toxic chemicals, especially when heated.
PS plastic is difficult to recycle and Even worse, when not recycled, it takes hundreds of years to decompose!
PS  is used to make cups, plates, bowls, take-out containers, meat trays, CD and DVD cases.
Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC]
Polystyrene is known to leach styrene  which can damage your nervous system and is linked to cancer, into your food.
According to the Foundation for Achievements in Science and Education fact sheet, long term exposure to small quantities of styrene can cause neurotoxic (fatigue, nervousness, difficulty sleeping), hematological (low platelet and hemoglobin values), cytogenetic (chromosomal and lymphatic abnormalities), and carcinogenic effects.
Always avoid plastic type no. 6 that is PS

Now Let us know more about Plastic Type No. 7 -

Plastic Type Resin SPI Code No. 7 - Other plastics like nylon and styrene - not recyclable

Plastic #7 can be a little tricky as it stands for “Other” which may or may not contain BPA.
It is commonly used to label Polycarbonate (PC). The letters PC may be present with the recycling symbol, which would indicate that the product is made with polycarbonate.
Polycarbonate is derived from BPA

The remaining plastics include: polycarbonate, polylactide, acrylic, acrylonitrile butadiene, styrene, fiberglass, and nylon.
Plastics made from a combination of plastics may get labelled as plastic type no. 7

there's a good chance it often contains new chemical on the block in the bisphenol class known as Bisphenol-S (BPS).
BPA and BPS are endocrine disrupters, which means they mimic or interfere with your body's hormones and "disrupts" your endocrine system.

Polycarbonate is found in following items
a-Electrical wiring
b-CD/DVD cases
c-Baby bottles

How to locate the plastic type number on bottles?
Check on the bottom of the bottle there is a triangle sign and there will be a number on it.
That number represents the type of plastic which is used in the manufacturing of that particular type of bottle.
The type of plastic bottle in which water is usually sold is usually a #1, and is only recommended for one time use.
The triangle is called the Mobius loop and the numbers from #1 to #7 represent the material used to manufacture the product. This internationally adopted system is called the Material Identification Code and helps recyclers' identify the resin content of plastic products and sort them out accordingly.

Which Plastic Type Number we should avoid?
The most toxic plastics are #7, #3 and #6

Always Avoid No. 1, No. 3, No.6, No.7 and No. 5

No. 1 is just one time use water bottle Never Refill No. 1 water bottle to use it again.
Just use it and throw it. Thus No.1 bottle is not environment friendly so avoid it.

Safer plastic containers are polyethylene
High density HDPE #2 and Low density LDPE #4 both are safe.

Best Policy is to avoid Use of Plastic if good alternative is easily available.
Example –
Steel Plates, Steel Glass Say No to Plastic Plates, Plastic Glass
Glass Bottle, Steel Bottle Say No to Plastic Bottle
Say No to Microwavable Plastic Plates Use Glass Plates

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