MIStupid.com Logo
The Online Knowledge Magazine

Types of Plastic and Recycling

Ever wonder what those numbers represent printed on the recycling symbol on certain plastic items? Or who PETE is? Here is a table of the various types of recyclable plastics.

Type Abbreviation Full Name Symbol Examples
Type 1 PETE Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Soda & water containers, some waterproof packaging.
Type 2 HDPE High-Density Polyethylene Milk, detergent & oil bottles. Toys and plastic bags.
Type 3 V Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Food wrap, vegetable oil bottles, blister packages.
Type 4 LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene Many plastic bags. Shrink wrap, garment bags.
Type 5 PP Polypropylene Refrigerated containers, some bags, most bottle tops, some carpets, some food wrap.
Type 6 PS Polystyrene Throwaway utensils, meat packing, protective packing.
Type 7 OTHER Usually layered or mixed plastic. No recycling potential - must be land-filled.