Your guide to recycling codes on plastics and which ones are recycled in Jamaica. Look around,majority of the items we purchase, use and produce each day are some how related to or made from plastics which makes recycling very important. The plastic bottles we drink from, to the toys our children play with are all made with some variation of plastic. To know the best way to recycle these products, it is advisable to learn more about their life cycles, including what types of plastics are used in different products.
Did you know that most plastics are marked with a number inside a recycling symbol?
Number 1 Plastics
PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) a relatively cheap and strong transparent plastic found in soft drink and water bottles; mouthwash bottles; peanut butter, salad dressing and vegetable oil containers; oven-safe food trays.
HDPE (high density polyethylene) a strong, transparent plastic with good resistance against chemicals. Pigments are used to add colour and often used for juice bottles, bleach, detergent and household cleaner, pill and shampoo bottles; motor oil bottles; some butter and yogurt tubs .
V (Vinyl) or PVC is tough and weathers well, so it is commonly used for piping, siding and similar applications. Never burn PVC, because it releases harmful toxins.
Number 4 Plastics
LDPE (low density polyethylene) a tough highly flexible plastic used for squeezable bottles, dry cleaning and shopping bags, and carpet.
Number 5 Plastics
PP (polypropylene) a strong light plastic with a high melting point, and so is often chosen for containers that must accept hot liquid like some yogurt and ice cream containers, syrup bottles and ketchup bottles.
PS (polystyrene) is stiff and rigid used in disposable cutlery, plates and cups and CD cases
Number 7 Plastics
Other – A wide variety of plastic resins that don’t fit into the previous categories are lumped into number 7.