The packaging of almost every plastic product we buy has a recycling logo, with numbers inside and letters underneath. These icons, called plastic identification codes or resin identification codes, are identified according to the type of resin in the plastic. The recycling logo in these codes might be deceptive about how easy to recycle all types of plastics. In fact, some plastics are harder to decompose and recycle than others.
Here are the plastics in 7 groups and their identification codes:
1-PET veya PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate – Polietilen Tereftalat)
Products with this identification code are one of the easiest ways to use recycled plastics. This type of plastic, which you can see in disposable water bottles and many packages, can be recycled after the substance in it is cleaned. This lightweight plastic-type is not ideal for reuse, although it can be easily recycled. .
2-HDPE or PE-HD (High Density Polyethylene)
This type of plastic, which can be used for multiple purposes, is used in the production of many packages, in milk and detergent boxes. Thanks to its low permeability feature, this type of plastic that can be easily used in foods can be easily recycled.
3- V or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
This type of plastic, which has good durability, can be encountered in many areas such as toys, pipes, and even packaging. Recycling this type of plastic, which is harmful to the environment and health, is almost impossible.
4- LDPE or PE-LD (Low Density Polyethylene)
This flexible type of plastic found in shopping bags, storage containers, toothpaste tubes, and some furniture can be recycled to trash cans, products such as upholstery tiles.
5- PP (Polypropylene – Polypropylene)
This plastic, which has a high melting point, is generally used for products that are resistant to heat. Containers, straws, and glasses are some of the examples where this type of plastic can be found. To recycle, you should empty and rinse all food residues in the products.
Polystyrene can occur in two types of products: firm and the colloquially known styrofoam. This lightweight plastic is mostly used in the production of disposable products such as plates, forks, spoons, knives, glasses, and food containers. Due to its carcinogenic content, it poses a threat to nature and all life. Due to its chemical-objective structure, the recycling processes of this plastic-type require high-budget investments with high technology and specific processes.
7- OTHER or O (Such as Polycarbonate, Nylon or Polylactic Acid)
All other types of plastics that do not fit into the above 6 categories are combined under this code. Products with this code can be a mixture of several plastics in the other 6 categories, or it can be another type of plastic. Used in bulletproof products, sunglasses, some water bottles, this group cannot be recycled.