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EPA Rethinks Plastic Bottle Safety: How to Identify Types of Plastics You Use

By Edited Apr 4, 2016 4 6


How Safe Are Plastics You Use?
You may have seen in the National News Headlines recently, that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have taken a shift in position. Again, they are expressing concerns about possible health risks from the bisphenol-A (BPA) component of plastic bottles and food packaging found in the #7 Plastic Type that was formerly declared safe in 2008.

Have you ever checked the bottom of your plastic water bottle or other plastic beverage and food containers that you use on a daily basis? There are six different types of plastic resins that are commonly used to package water and beverage containers, foods and household products. A numerical coding system was created by the Society of the Plastics Industry in the late 1980's.

Provided below is the identification coding system that can be found on the bottom of most plastic bottles and packaging.



#1 (PETE)
#1 (PETE) Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) - Used For: Most bottled water, soda, cooking oils, juice, salad dressing, peanut butter, and other foods

Safest Plastic: As long, as they have not been in the heat and are not old or reused (up to 2 months from bottled date is considered safe). These unsafe conditions can cause leaching of plasticizer chemicals called phthalates. Recycled uses: Fiber fill for pillows, quilts and jackets, clear sheets for VCR and audio cassettes, go back into the bottle market



#2 (HDPE)
#2 (HDPE) High-Density Polyethylene - Used For: Milk jugs, one gallon water bottles, detergent bottles, oil bottles, some bottled foods, toys plastic bags. These plastics are generally regarded as safe. Recycled uses: Plastic pipes, lumber, flower pots, trash cans, non food application bottles



#3 (V or PVC)
#3 (V or PVC) Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride - Used for: Cling wraps, 4 oz. vegetable oil bottles, Appalachian Mountain spring water, blister packaging (pharmaceutical), some plastic squeeze bottles.



#4 (LDPE)
#4 (LDPE) Low-Density Polyethylene - Used for: Food storage bags (Glad & Ziplock), shrink wrap, garment bags.




#5 (PP)

Deli soup containers, most Rubbermaid containers, cloudy plastic baby bottles, ketchup bottles, other cloudy plastic bottles.


#6 (PS)
#6 (PS) Polystyrene - Used for: Most opaque plastic cutlery and disposable plates and cups,styrofoam, meat packing, protective packing.

Recycled uses: Not commonly recycled; a suggested plastic to avoid



#7 (OTHER)
#7 (OTHER) Plastic is usually Polycarbonate and contains bisphenol-A (BPA) - Used for: Most plastic baby bottles, five gallon water jugs, re-usable sports bottles, clear plastic "sippy" cups, some types of clear plastic cutlery, inner lining of food cans.

Recycled uses: No recycling potential, must be land filled, a suggested plastic to avoid

See recent US News Article - "EPA Rethinks Plastic...

Sports Bottles
Use and Storage of Bottled Water...


Reusing your water bottle is terrible for your body; studies show dangerous levels of bacteria accumulate on and in the bottle as you reuse it., as it becomes worn or scratched which will leach more toxins, contaminating the water or beverage.

Keep your bottled water away from cleaning compounds, paints, gasoline, or other household or industrial chemicals. Do not store it in the garage or in direct sun light.





Jan 19, 2010 1:41am
Great article on plastic bottle safety.
Jan 19, 2010 7:05am
Great information on bottle safety.
Jan 22, 2010 1:39pm
Tx for sharing your wisdom.
Feb 19, 2010 3:30am
Good article we saw this on TV and went through our bottles to see which companies were using safe ones. thanks for the reminder.
Feb 23, 2010 2:01am
Sallye May this is a really good article, so beautifully done and of such importance. One to save for reference, thanks.
Apr 5, 2011 5:21pm
Plastic bottle safety is very important for a newborn baby, thanks for bringing it into attention.
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