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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Here at American Woman we’re all into reusing, repurposing, and recycling, but when it comes to plastics, it can get very confusing. Money guru Sheila Conway did a bit of research and is here today to give you a basic plastics education. -- AP

Thanks, Anastasia! Plastics come in 7 different varieties. You can tell which type of plastic was used for making a product by the number you’ll find inside the recycling triangle marked in the plastic.

Type 1 -- This type of plastic is generally used for soda and water bottles and are usually clear plastic. Because of its porous surface, you shouldn’t reuse these bottles because of the possible accumulation of bacteria. Recycle all Type 1 plastics. They can be remade into everything from carpets to shopping bags.

Type 2 -- These plastics are generally opaque in color. They’re used for detergent bottles, milk bottles, and toiletries. There’s a low risk of leaching, so you can reuse them. They’re also very recyclable and are made into new containers.

Type 3 -- This type of plastic is used for food packaging and plumbing pipes. Don’t reuse them with food, and never microwave them. They generally can’t be recycled.

Type 4 -- You’ll find this plastic in squeezable bottles, some food bags, grocery bags, and food wraps. They’re safe to reuse but generally can’t be recycled.

Type 5 -- These plastics are used for yogurt cups, straws, and medicine bottles. They’re safe to reuse and recyclable, but check with your local recycling program. Not all recyclers take Type 5 plastics.

Type 6 -- This plastic is used for egg cartons, packing materials, and disposable cups. Don’t reuse them, and never put them in the microwave as they can release toxic chemicals. They generally can’t be recycled.

Type 7 -- This plastic is used for lids, ketchup bottles, and items made with mixed resins. They have various levels of risk for reuse and are generally not recyclable.

Thanks, Sheila! This is great information. Post a comment to be entered into the drawing for a book by our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP

1 comment:

Liz V. said...

Thanks for heads up on what's reusable.

Luckily, our recycler takes just about everything.