Recycling the materials helps to maintain the ecological balance.
We can reuse or recycle things those are identified through certain numbers.
These numbers are centered inside chasing arrows by clockwise. These are called the recycling numbers. Usually, these numbers are mostly found on the body of plastic things such as…
- Packages etc.
Recycling symbols can be also in a different color along with recycling numbers. The scale of the recycling numbers is between 1-7.
These numbers show the idea whether the product is recyclable, reusable or not.
This also lets the buyers or users the concept of buying recycled products.
Different countries have different types of recycling codes. Resin Identification Code (RIC) first appeared in 1988.
China has a different polymer identification system. They classified plastics into seven types and have five separate symbols for post-consumer paths.
They also have 140 identification codes of plastics.
Numbers or codes can be unfamiliar but the target of these recycling numbers or codes is always the same.
Recycling Numbers Chart
List of Chinese codes for plastics products 1 to 140:
China’s Standardization Administration listed 140 types of material codes of multiple types of plastics. These are written in the document GB16288,2008.
|2||HDPE||polyethylene, high density|
|4||LDPE||polyethylene, low density|
|15||CAB||cellulose acetate butyrate|
|16||CAP||cellulose acetate propionate|
|25||EAA||Ethylene-acrylic acid plastic|
|26||EBAK||Ethylene-butyl acrylate plastic|
|28||EEAK||Ethylene-ethyl acrylate plastic|
|29||EMA||Ethylene-methacrylic acid plastic|
|30||EP||epoxide; epoxy resin or plastic|
|32||EVA||Ethylene-vinyl acetate plastic|
|33||EVOH||Ethylene-vinyl alcohol plastic|
|34||FEP||perfluoro (ethylene-propylene) plastic|
|37||MABS||methyl methacrylate-acrylnitrile-butadiene-styrene plastic|
|38||MBS||methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene plastic|
|59||PCCE||poly(cyclohexlyene dimethylene cyclo-hexanedicar-boxylate)|
|61||PCT||poly(cyclonhexylene dimethylene terephthalate)|
|65||PEC||polyester carbonate or poly(butylene succinate/carbonate)|
|72||LLDPE||polyethylene, linear low density|
|73||MDPE||polyethylene, medium density|
|79||UHMWPE||polyethylene, ultra-high molecular weight|
|81||VLDPE||polyethylene, very low density|
|83||PFA||Perfluoro alkoxyl alkane resin|
|85||PHA||polyhydroxyalanoic or polyhydroxyalkanoates|
|86||PHB||polyhydroxybutyric acid or polyhydroxybutyrate|
|92||PLA||polylactic acid or poly lactide|
|98||POM||poloxymethylene; polyacetal; polyormaldehyde|
|99||PPC||carbon dioxide and propylene copolymer|
|103||PP-HI||polypropylene, high impact|
|108||HIPS||polystyrene, high impact|
|117||PVC-C||poly(vinyl chloride), chlorinated|
|118||PVC-U||poly(vinyl chloride), unplasticized|
|128||SMAH||Styrene-maleic anyhydride plastic|
|131||UP||unsaturated polyester resin|
|132||VCE||vinyl chloride-ethylene plastic|
|133||VCEMAK||vinyl chloride-ethylene-methyle-acrylate plastic|
|134||VCEVAC||vinyl chloride-ethylene-vinyl acrylate plastic|
|135||VCMAK||vinyl chloride-methyl acrylate plastic|
|136||VCMMA||vinyl chloride-methyl methacrylate plastic|
|137||VCOAK||vinyl chloride-octyl acrylate plastic|
|138||VCVAC||vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate plastic|
|139||VCVDC||Vinylchloride-vynylidene chloride plastic|
|140||VE||vinyl ester resin|
List of Resin Identification Codes (RIC) and codes defined by the European Commission:
These RIC codes are not only for plastics. These code work for plastics, batteries, paper, metals, biomatter/organic material, glass, and composites.
|#1 PET(E)||Polyethylene terephthalate||Polyester fibers, soft drink bottles|
|#2 PEHD or HDPE||High-density polyethylene||Plastic bottles, plastic bags, trash cans, oil cans, imitation wood|
|#3 PVC||Polyvinyl chloride||Window frames, bottles for chemicals, flooring, plumbing pipes|
|#4 PELD or LDPE||Low-density polyethylene||Plastic bags, buckets, soap dispenser bottles, milk bottles, plastic tubes|
|#5 PP||Polypropylene||Bumpers, car interior trim, industrial fibers, carry-out beverage cups|
|#6 PS||Polystyrene||Toys, flower pots, video cassettes, ashtrays, trunks, beverage/food coolers, beer cups, wine and champagne cups, carry-out food containers, Styrofoam|
|#7 O (OTHER)||All other plastics||Polycarbonate (PC), polyamide (PA), styrene acrylonitrile (SAN), acrylic plastics/polyacrylonitrile (PAN), bioplastics|
|#9 or #ABS||Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene||Monitor/TV cases, coffee makers, cell phones, most computer plastic, most FFF 3D printed parts that are not bioplastic such as PLA|
|#8 Lead||Lead–acid battery||Car batteries|
|#9 or #19 Alkaline||Alkaline battery|
|#10 NiCD||Nickel–cadmium battery|
|#11 NiMH||Nickel–metal hydride battery|
|#12 Li||Lithium battery|
|#13 SO(Z)||Silver-oxide battery|
|#14 CZ||Zinc–carbon battery|
|#20 PAP||Corrugated fiberboard|
|#21 PAP||Non-corrugated fiberboard (paperboard)|
|#51 FOR||Cork||Bottle stoppers, place mats, construction material|
|#62-69 TEX||Other Textiles|
|#70 GLS||Mixed Glass Container/Multi-Part Container|
|#71 GLS||Clear Glass|
|#72 GLS||Green Glass|
|#73 GLS||Dark Sort Glass|
|#74 GLS||Light Sort Glass|
|#75 GLS||Light Leaded Glass||Televisions, high-end electronics display glass|
|#76 GLS||Leaded Glass||Older televisions, ashtrays, older beverage holders|
|#77 GLS||Copper Mixed/Copper Backed Glass||Electronics, LCD display heads, clocks, watches|
|#78 GLS||Silver Mixed/Silver Backed Glass||Mirrors, formal table settings|
|#79 GLS||Gold Mixed/Gold Backed Glass||Computer glass, formal table settings|
|#81 PapPet||Paper + plastic||Consumer packaging, pet food bags, cold store grocery bags, Icecream containers, cardboard cans, disposable plates|
|#82||Paper and fibreboard/Aluminium|
|#83||Paper and fibreboard/Tinplate|
|#84 C/PAP (or PapAl)||Paper and cardboard/Plastic/Aluminium||Liquid storage containers, juice boxes, cardboard cans, cigarette pack liners, gum wrappers, cartage shells for blanks, fireworks coloring material, Tetra Brik.|
|#85||Paper and fibreboard/plastic/aluminium/tinplate|
|#87 Card-stock Laminate||Biodegradable plastic||Laminating material, special occasion cards, bookmarks, business cards, flyers/advertising|
|#98||Glass/Miscellaneous Metals|| |
Table of Resin Codes
The ASTM International Resin Identification Coding System is popularly known as RIC. This RIC is a set of symbols those speak about the ingredients of the plastic products. The Plastics Industry Association has developed the Resin Codes in 1988. ASTM International is an administration this from 2008.
|Recycling number||Image||Alternate image #1||Alternate image #2||Abbreviation||Polymer name||Uses||Recycling|
|1||PETE or PET||Polyethylene terephthalate||Polyester fibers (Polar Fleece), thermoformed sheet, strapping, soft drink bottles, tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling and (occasionally) new containers. (See also: Recycling of PET bottles)||Picked up through most curbside recycling programs.|
|2||HDPE or PE-HD||High-density polyethylene||Bottles, grocery bags, milk jugs, recycling bins, agricultural pipe, base cups, car stops, playground equipment, and plastic lumber||Picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only those containers with necks.|
|3||PVC or V||Polyvinyl chloride||Pipe, window profile, siding, fencing, flooring, shower curtains, lawn chairs, non-food bottles, and children’s toys.||Extensively recycled in Europe;481,000 tonnes in 2014 through Vinyl 2010 and VinylPlus initiatives.|
|4||LDPE or PE-LD||Low-density polyethylene||Plastic bags, six-pack rings, various containers, dispensing bottles, wash bottles, tubing, and various molded laboratory equipment||LDPE is not often recycled through curbside programs, but some communities will accept it. Plastic shopping bags can be returned to many stores for recycling.|
|5||PP||Polypropylene||Auto parts, industrial fibres, food containers, and dishware||Number 5 plastics can be recycled through some curbside programs.|
|6||PS||Polystyrene||Desk accessories, cafeteria trays, plastic utensils, toys, video cassettes and cases, clamshell containers, packaging peanuts, and insulation board and other expanded polystyrene products (e.g., Styrofoam)||Number 6 plastics can be recycled through some curbside programs.|
|7||OTHER or O||Other plastics, such as acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate, and polylactic acid (a bioplastic), and multilayer combinations of different plastics||Bottles, plastic lumber applications, headlight lenses, and safety shields/glasses.||Number 7 plastics have traditionally not been recycled, though some curbside programs now take them.|
After 2013, ASTM revised the RIC symbols. Now they are identified as below:
Let’s have a brief idea about these above Resin Codes:
PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
This type of plastics is a very common form to be found in water and pop, soft drink bottles, peanut butter containers etc. These types of plastics are mostly used for the single-use purpose. PET plastic is recyclable but it is difficult to decontaminate.
HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)
HDPE plastic is used to produce jugs; oil, detergent, bleach, shampoo bottles; toys and some plastic bags for the stiffness and heat-resistance. This is recyclable and reusable.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
PVC is the soft and flexible type of plastic. Manufacturers use PVC to produce food wrapper, oil bottles, computer cables, pipes, plumbing parts, siding, windows etc. PVC made products are not recyclable.
LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)
Different wraps, clothing bags, squeezable bottles, bread bags etc. are made of LDPE plastics. LDPE plastic is less recyclable but always recyclable.
You can see the presence of Polypropylene is disposable diapers, syrup and ketchup bottles, bottle caps, different containers, chips bags etc. PP is reusable but less recyclable.
The use of Polystyrene is much significant for its affordability, lightweight nature, and the easy reformation. You can find PS in meat trays, cartons, aspirin bottles, CD cases etc. Recycling of Polystyrene is less regular to happen.
Other (BPA, Polycarbonate, and LEXAN)
The other types of plastics are used to make baby bottles, big water bottles, sunglasses, computer cases, sippy cups, car parts etc. These are not recommended for reuse.
Meaning of Recycling Symbol without Number:
There are also recycling symbols available those contain no number. These are not plastic. These are kind of descriptive text that illustrates the particular object.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has a different type of recycling symbol which is indifferent to the “recyclable” symbol for plastic resins. There are two different pairs of the number in this symbol. First one says the minimum percentage of a percentage of post-consumer recycled content (in this case 50%), and the second one tells total recycled content (in this case 80%).
Blue colored chasing arrows is also a newly appeared symbol. The Green Dot, RBRC etc. symbols also contain no number like the RIC symbols.
This below chart is for the recycling rates of different countries.
|Country||Recycling and composting||Incineration with energy recovery||Incineration without energy recovery||Landfill|
|Greece||19||no data||no data||81|
|Israel||19||no data||no data||81|
|Mexico||5||no data||no data||95|
|New Zealand||no data||no data||no data||100|
|United States||35||12||no data||54|
Now, I am showing you some frequently asked questions about the recycling numbers:
Question: What Can Recycling Numbers Be Recycled?
Answer: 1, 2, 4.
Question: What Do Recycling Numbers mean?
Answer: Recycling numbers mean what is the ingredient and the recycling condition (possibility) of a particular product.
Question: Which Recycling Numbers Have BPA?
Answer: Number 07.
Question: Which Recycling Numbers or Codes Contain BPA?
Answer: Number 07.
Question: Which Recycling Numbers Are BPA Free?
Answer: 1, 2 and 4.
Question: Which Recycling Codes Are Most Environmentally Friendly?
Answer: 2, 4 and 5.
Question: Which Recycling Codes Are Safe?
Answer: 2, 4 and 5.
Question: Which Recycling Numbers Are Bad?
Answer: 6 and 7.
Question: Which Recycling Numbers Can Be Recycled?
Answer: 1, 2, 4.
Question: What Are Recycling Codes?
Answer: Recycling Codes is the identification of a material that is safe or unsafe, reusable or not, recyclable or not etc.
Question: What Recycling Number Is Styrofoam?
Answer: Number 6.
Recycling numbers are developed with a great motive. A user should know what material he or she is using for daily uses. These materials can be paper, glass, metal, plastics etc. Recycling Codes or numbers allow getting the idea of reuse and recycling. A person should know the proper concept of this certain topic. This can lead to a healthy environment and a healthy life.