This can be confusing and most feel it's an ever-changing topic.
As of right now, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade. Plastics marked 7 are especially confusing since 7 is the throw all "Other cateogory".
So the general rule of thumb
Avoid Plastics marked as:
#3 #6 or #7-PC
If it’s labeled #7-PC, it’s unsafe polycarbonate.
If it’s labeled #7 “PLA” or #7 “compostable,” it’s a safer, bio-based plastic. For example Gerber baby food containers and BornFree baby bottles are part of the safe category.
Safer Plastics are those marked as: #1 #2 #4 #5 or #7 labeled labeled “PLA” or “compostable”
Other tips they recommend are avoiding using plastic containers or plastic wrap in the microwave or with hot foods and liquids, buy a BPA free reusable water bottle, avoid PVC products (toys, building materials, etc.)
Most Plastics are marked with recycling symbols 1-7. These symbols signify the following:
3: PVC or V: Polyvinyl chloride, used for cling wrap,plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter containers, and detergent and window cleaner bottles.
6: PS: Polystyrene, used in styrofoam food trays, egg cartons,disposable cups and bowls, carry-out containers and opaque plastic cutlery.
7: Other: This is a catch-all category for plastics thatdon’t fit into the #1-6 categories. It includes polycarbonate,bio-based plastics, co-polyester, acrylic,polyamide and plastic mixtures like styrene-acrylonitrileresin (SAN). Number 7 plastics are used for a variety of products like baby bottles and “sippy” cups,baby food jars, 5-gallon water bottles, “sport” waterbottles, plastic dinnerware and clear plastic cutlery.
1: PETE: Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene, used for soft drink, juice, water, detergent, cleaner and peanut
2: HDPE: High density polyethylene, used in opaque plastic milk and water jugs, bleach, detergent and
shampoo bottles, and some plastic bags.
4: LDPE: Low density polyethylene, used in grocery
store bags, most plastic wraps, Ziplock bags and
5: PP: Polypropylene, used in most Rubbermaid, deli
soup, syrup and yogurt containers, straws and other
clouded plastic containers, including baby bottles.
Personally I'm especially guilty of using products in Category 3:
cling wrap, plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter containers, and detergent and window cleaner bottles. However not all items in this list are always #3s, my peanut butter and olive oil containers were #1s. I did notice my plastic bottle of syrup was a #3. I never buy styrofoam trays or cups but have on occasion bought styrofoam egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls used styrofoam carry-out containers and opaque plastic cutlery. Time to be more dilligent.
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