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ENVIRONMENT

When it’s plastic, numbers do speak

Life&More June 15, 2017
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Team L&M

The use of plastics is rampant these days. There is plastic everywhere, in food containers, toys, cosmetics, packaging and even utensils we use in kitchen are made of plastic.
While some plastics may be safe for kids, others contain harmful chemicals, are not environment-friendly and cause a lot of environmental pollution.
While it is quite impossible to shun plastics altogether, we can look for plastics that are comparatively safe for your family and the environment. Each plastic product has a recycling code written on its underside and you must pay attention to it before using and reusing it.

Type 1: Polyethylene Teraphthalate (PET)

PET is light-weight, clear and smooth, and is meant for a single use only.
This type of plastic is used in making bottles for juices, salad dressing, water, vegetable oil, peanut butter and pickle jars
It is unsafe and should not be re-used.

Type 2: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE doesn’t contain bisphenol or phthalates or nay other harmful chemicals. Containers made of High-density polyethylene have the symbol “HDPE” written on them.
This used in making milk containers, detergent bottles, freezer bags and plastic grocery bags.
It is safe and can be re-used.

Type 3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride contains phthalates that can cause reproductive problems in animals and humans. PVC can be plasticized or unplasticized. When plasticized it is clear and flexible when unplasticized it is rigid.
Fruit juice bottles and cooking oil bottles are made of PVC. Plasticized PVC pipes and siding contain phthalates as well. PVC containers have the symbol V on them.
It is unsafe and should not be re-used.

Type 4: Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Type 4 plastic does not contain any known harmful chemicals. Containers mad of this type of plastic have the symbol LDPE on them.
Frozen foods packaging and condiment squeeze bottles are made of Type 4 plastic because it is flexible and resistant to solvents.
It is safe and can be re-used.

Type 5: Polypropylene (PP)

Type 5 plastic is flexible, hard and semi-transparent and has high resistance to solvents. Polypropylene containers have the symbol PP on them. Polypropylene containers do not leach harmful chemicals into foods or liquids.
Containers of yogurt, medicine, drinks, ketchup and medicines are made of PP.
It is safe and can be re-used.

Type 6: Polystyrene (PS)

Foam insulation, cups and toys are made of PS. Benzene, that is used in production of PS is a known human carcinogen.
It is unsafe and should not be re-used.

Type 7: Polycarbonate (PC)

Type 7 plastic contains bisphenol A that leaches into the material kept in these. Type 7 plastics often have the symbol PC or Other written on them.
Water-cooler bottles, hard, plastic water bottles and to-go coffee mugs are made of this type of plastic. Its use is rampant since it is virtually shatter-proof.
But it is unsafe and should not be re-used.

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