[Originally posted on Mar 8, 2010 on blogspot. Now I have moved to wordpress.]
This is my very first blog. Ever since I saw the movie ‘Julie & Julia’ I had this urge to write. Definitely not on cooking…wouldn’t go past more than a couple of blogs then! So, I thought I will just write, nothing in particular.
Y’day I was in a departmental store and saw a cute water bottle. Being summer, I thought it will find good use. Unfortunately, I could not find the number on the bottle and hence decided not to buy. Then it occurred to me that not many of my friends would know about the plastic numbering and so started writing this blog….
There is a number inside a recycle triangle symbol in every plastic container/bottle (supposed to be there!). But not all the plastic products sold here have the number.
PETE #1 – #1 stands for PET or PETE Polyethylene Terephthalate. Most clear bottles like water, soda have this number.
HDPE #2 – #2 stands for High Density Polyethylene. These have a higher density and are usually used in containers for non-food items like shampoo, bleach, liquid detergent, etc. It is also used to store food items that have a very short shelf like milk, juice.
PVC #3 – #3 stands for PVC i.e. Poly Vinyl Chloride. It is used in pipes, linoleum flooring, etc.
LDPE #4 – #4 stands for Low Density Polyethylene. This is usually used in grocery bags, squeezable bottles, lining for beverage cups, etc.
PP #5 – #5 stands for PolyPropelene. These are usually used in baby bottles, Tupperware, yogurt cups, medicine bottles, etc.
PS #6 – #6 is PolySterene, popularly known as Styrofoam. Not really plastic. We see them everyday in foam containers like take out cups, plates, etc.
OTHER #7 – #7 is usually Polycarbonate. Products labeled as "other" usually is a combination of the above 1-6. They are usually used in re-usable large capacity water bottles.
(For more information on different types of plastics and their uses, please see the www.americanchemistry.com site)
Having said the above,
#2, #4, and #5 are your best choices while selecting a plastic container for food. They transmit no known chemicals into your food.
#1 is fine for single use, but not recommended for multiple use. Try not to reuse the water/juice bottles.
Every water bottle that I have come across is usually #1. My son who was reading this blog told me, ‘Why are you giving me #1 bottles then?‘. So I had to tell him, ‘Haven’t found any with a #4 or #5‘. Now I will be spending big bucks on those Tupperware water bottles that I am seeing in the TOI ad.
MORAL: If you don’t see a recycling number on that cute water bottle, you should just let it go…