Plastic Type Definitions

Plastic Number 1 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Ethylene (PETE)Plastic #1 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Ethylene (PETE)

PETE goes into soft drink, juice, water, detergent, and cleaner bottles. Also used for cooking and peanut butter jars.

Accepted at all recycle centers.

Plastic Number 2 - High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)Plastic #2 - High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE goes into milk and water jugs, bleach bottles, detergent and shampoo. Plastic bags and grocery sacks, motor oil bottles, household cleaners and butter tubs.

Accepted at most recycle centers.

Plastic Number 3 - Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)Plastic #3 - Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC goes into window cleaner, cooking oils, and detergent bottles. Also used for peanut butter jars and water jugs.

Accepted at most recycle centers.

Plastic Number 4 - Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)Plastic #4 - Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

LDPE goes into plastic bags and grocery sacks, dry cleaning bags and flexible film packaging. Also some bottles.

Hard to recycle.

Plastic Number 5 - Polypropylene (PP)Plastic #5 - Polypropylene (PP)

PP goes into caps, disks, syrup bottles, yogurt tubs, straws and film packaging.

Widely accepted by many recyclers.

Plastic Number 6 - Polystyrene (PS)Plastic #6 - Polystyrene (PS)

PS goes into meat trays, egg cartons, plates, cutlery, carryout containers and clear trays.

Limited recycling opportunities.

Plastic Number 7 - OtherPlastic #7 - Other

Includes resins not mentioned above or combinations of plastics.

Very hard to recycle.

Copyright © 1999 National Recycling Coalition Updated December 30, 1999.