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August 22nd, 2014
Do you know your Reclycing Numbers?

Ever wonder what the number means when you turn your bottle upside down? Has any one told you that some numbers are good, bad or harmful and you can't tell fact from fiction?

If you cannot remember a complex chart, keep this page handy and when you need to know, check it out.

The symbol we see on plastic bottles, containers and packaging is called a mobius loop - three arrows forming a continuous loop, means recycling.

A circle with a dark background and white arrows indicates that the package contains recycled material.
A light symbol, white arrows on a white background, means that the package itself is recyclable.
A number inside the mobius loop indicates the construction material.


Resin Identification Codes -The resin coding system was introduced in 1988 by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI). This coding system seen on plastic bottles, containers and packaging indicates the type of plastic resin that was used to make the item. Consumers can use these codes in order to determine which items can be recycled.





SAMPLE PRODUCT PROPERTIES RECYCLES INTO
2-litre soft drink and juice bottle Pro: Holds carbonated beverages, transparent
Con: Where recycling isn't an option, PETE fills up landfill sites quickly (currently half of our pop bottles in Canada)
T-shirts , carpeting, pillow stuffing, blinders
Bleach bottle, milk jugs, detergent or oil bottles Pro: Rigid, chemical resistant, easily coloured
Con: uses raw energy and petroleum to make
New detergent and oil bot tles, binders, fencing, plastic lumber
Siding, piping, credit cards Pro: Resistant to sunlight and cold temperatures. Cheap and durable so reduces replacement
Con: Does not break down easily
Siding, pipes, car parts, irrigation pipes, traffic cones, sign posts, other building materials
Plastic grocery and garbage bags, stretch wrap, bread and zipper bags Pro: Flexible, strong, soft, lightweight
Con: When contaminated with food is difficult to recycle
New shopping bags, grocery bags, garbage bags, plastic lumber
Margarine and dairy tubs, patio furniture, indoor-outdoor carpeting, car battery cases, apparel and personal care products such as toothbrushes and hairbrushes Pro: Cheap and chemical resistant
Con: A "single use" item, not recommended for continuous use
Car battery cases , car parts, milk crates, measuring cups
Meat tray, foam coffee cups, building insulation, protective foam packaging, TV housings, video and audio cassettes, egg car tons, clear take-out food containers and CD trays Pro: Good insulator, can be clear, rigid, foamed
Con: Recycling not offer in most places Desk supplies like rulers,
CD trays, video cassette cases
Ketchup bottle, cheese packaging, bacon packaging Pro: Excellent barrier, resistant to oxygen and grease
Con: Systems for recycling not readily available.
Picnic tables, park benches and fencing

Still confused? Despite the ability of the above to be recycled, remember that the best way to conserve is to avoid packaging by buying in bulk, if possible, and resisting additional packaging whenever possible by using your own coffee cup or water bottle, converting to reusable shopping bags, and purchasing quality/long term instead of "single use" items.



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