Wonder what those symbols on or near the bottom of a plastic container mean? They are plastic resin codes and identify the resin. These codes do not necessarily mean that a container is recyclable since there may not be a recycling market for a particular code. The following list will help you learn about the codes so you know which items to include in your local curbside or drop-off recycling program.

Resin Code1
1 = PETE (or PET) polyethylene terephthalate

Commonly used to package soft drinks, water, beer, juice, sports drinks and other beverages, as well as edible oils, salad dressing, peanut butter, various condiments and sauces, and non-food products like household cleaners and personal products.

Resin Code1
2 = HDPE high density polyethylene

Commonly used for milk, cider and water jugs, as well as detergent, fabric softener and bleach

Resin Code1
3 = V
vinyl/polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Often used for salad dressing bottles, vegetable oil bottles and mouthwash.

Resin Code1
4 = LDPE
low density polyethylene

Used for flexible bags for dry cleaning, trash, produce, bread and shrink wrap. recycled LDPE is often used to make grocery bags.

Resin Code 5
5 = PP

Usually found in drinking straws, battery cases, some dairy tubs, bottle labels and caps.

Resin Code1
6 = PS

Commonly used for materials like packaging peanuts, plastic utensils, meat and egg trays

Resin Code1

Other plastics are often made of multiple resins or layers of different types of plastics. These may include microwavable packages, snack bags and industrial plastics.

Some information above from Waste Age issue Friday, August 15, 2003
Table courtesy of www.napcor.com