Decode The Meaning Of The Recycling Symbol And The Numbers At The Bottom Of The Plastic Bottle


Have you ever wondered the triangular symbol of any number at the bottom of a plastic bottle for something? In fact, little is known about the meaning of it, but they are really important.


This symbol is called a Resin Identification Code (RIC) issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ASTM). Corresponding numbers from 1 to 7 are displayed in the triangle and each number represents a different meaning. This is the numerical symbol depicting the type of plastic that makes up any plastic bottle.

Based on these figures, recyclers will know which plastics can be recycled. Meanwhile, these numbers also give you tips on how to choose which plastic boxes are safe enough to contain food or food.

No. 1 - PET (polyethylene terephthalate resin)

If you see the number 1, it could be a bottle of soda, fruit juice, chili paste, beer, wine or mouthwash. No. 1 implies that plastic bottles are reusable but should not be used too many times.


PET is the most popular plastic resin in the polymer family. They are commonly used to produce non-woven polyester fabrics, carpets or canvas. In addition, PET is made into food packaging and beverages. This material has the ability to create a barrier between liquid and gas, thereby preventing O2 and CO 2 from entering food and beverages.


PET is a relatively safe form of plastic, but many studies have shown PET can release active ingredients such as antimony and phthalates that cause skin irritation, miscarriage and even cancer. However, it is in the case of PET exposed to high temperatures.

Tip: Can be used but should avoid high heat and should not be reused too many times.

No. 2 - HDPE (high density polyethylene)

This figure is usually found under bottles or juice bottles. No. 2 means that these plastic bottles will stop the chemical drift and they are safe to use many times.


HDPE is considered less dangerous plastic. They are used to make plastic bottles for milk, water, juice, bleach or shampoo.


In addition, HDPE is also used to make plastic bags, insulation materials or plastic pipes. Polyethylene is the most popular resin in the world with durability, durability, moisture resistance very well.

Tips: Safe to use.

No. 3 - PVC (polyvinyl chloride resin)

This number is often used for bottles containing DEHP, a form of poison. Recycling symbol and # 3 appear on soap bottles, plastic bags, credit cards, oil bottles, plastic toys, cleansing water, blood bags, tablecloths and other building materials.


PVC is considered the most toxic but still the most widely used consumer product in the world, only after polyethylene because it is cheap, durable, durable and transparent.

The resin can contain or condense toxic substances such as BPA, phthalates, lead, dioxins, mercury and cadmium. These are all the toxins that can cause cancer or sex hormonal changes in humans, especially when burned.

Tip: Stay away and do not reuse

No. 4 - Low density polyethylene (LDPE)

These are made from the safest plastic and can be reused several times. You will often find the number 4 on plastic bags, some dry-cleaning bags, plastic packages, bundles, newspapers, frozen foods or carton cartons of milk.


LDPE is polyethylene but with lower density than HDPE. However, it retains the basic characteristics such as ductility, durability, moisture resistance.

Tips: Safe to use.

No. 5 - PP (polypropylene resins)

No. 5 is PP plastic or used in food and pharmaceutical boxes. You will often see the number 5 and the recycling symbol appear on containers like yogurt, tomato paste, chili paste or even straws.



PP resins are flexible, tough, highly heat resistant and can not remove chemicals. They are often used to store hot food. Even PP plastic is used to make disposable diapers, heat-retardant gowns, car accessories such as windbreakers, car rugs. This is a safe plastic for food and beverages, which can be reused several times.

Tips: Safe to use.

No. 6 - PS / PS-E (polystyrene resin / expanded polystyrene)

You will often see number 6 appearing on containers, such as egg trays, plastic dishes, disposable food containers. In addition, PS / PS-E also appears on food packaging, helmets.


This is not a safe plastic for reuse, even when they are exposed to high temperatures. The danger is if you use this type of plastics as often as cancer, neurological disease.

Advice: Do not use, if used, avoid using near high heat.

No. 7 - Other plastics

Large bottles of water, fruit juice bottles, tomato juice bottles, glasses, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, home furnishings, cars and even baby bottles will have a 7 in Bottom of the bottle.


This is a plastic or non-plastic mixture of these forms. But this type of plastic should not be used in the form of recycling. They contain BPA, a chemical that can cause infertility, diabetes and cancer.

Tip: Do not reuse in any way.