You might have seen number's written below the plastic bottles inside the triangular area. Ever wondered what it indicates? Then tighten your seat belts and read carefully to see what impact it has on you. These numbers indicate the type of plastic and for what uses they can be used for.
7 Types of plastic and their uses
1. Number 1 written in the triangular area
The plastic used to make this type of bottle is made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). This type of plastic is used to make bottles for soft drinks, water, mouthwash and sports drinks. It's safe for single usage and should never be heated. This kind of plastic leaches or degenerates into its contents over time.
2. Number 2 written in the triangular area
The plastic used to make this type of bottle is made from high-density Polyethylene (HDPE). It is used to make bottles for milk, shampoo, detergents and water. It has a lower risk of leaching and is generally considered safe.
3. Number 3 written in the triangular area
The plastic is made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). It is used to make toys, peanut butter jars, meat wrap and blister packs. It is considered as the most toxic and hazardous plastic. Products made from PVC are not recyclables.
4. Number 4 written in the triangular area
The plastic is made from low density Polyethylene (LDPE). It is used to make bags for newspaper, bread, frozen foods, shopping bags and squeezable bottles. It is considered as low hazard and is relatively safe for use.
5. Number 5 written in the triangular area
The plastic is made from Polypropylene (PP). It is used to make containers for yogurt, ice cream cups, medication and takeout meals. It is one of the safest plastics. It is tough and lightweight. It has high heat tolerance.
6. Number 6 written in the triangular area
The plastic is made from Polystyrene (PS). It is used to make cups, plates, meat trays and egg cartons. Polystyrene may leach styrene, a possible human carcinogen, into food products.
7. Number 7 & others written in the triangular area
All other plastics, which don't fit into any of the above categories, are considered as number 7 type. These plastics contain polycarbonate (PC), Bisphenol-S (BPS), Bisphenol-A (BPA). Plastics found in sunglasses, 5-gallon water bottles, oven-baking bags and Sippy cups are of type 7. BPS and BPA are endocrine disrupters; they may interfere with body's hormone and disrupt the endocrine system. One of the main concerns with this type of plastic is the chemical leaching into the food or drink products.
Summary from above is that plastic type 1,2,4 an 5 are safe for use, while plastic type 3,6, and 7 should better be avoided. Hope you liked this health article on "types of plastic and their uses". Do not shy to share it with your friends.