What do the numbers on plastic bottles mean?

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Have you ever noticed triangular markings on plastic bottles or containers and some random numbers and wondered what it is? Do you know that they are for the safety of consumers? Here is detailed breakdown of such numbers and markings on the bottles.

1. The bottle is manufactured with the plastic made of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), if the triangle has number ‘1’, indicating that the bottle can be used only once and should never be heated. That is the reason, a message reads on few bottles, saying ‘Crush The Bottle After Use’.

2. The bottle is made of high-density Polyethylene, if the triangle has number ‘2’. This kind of plastic is generally used for detergents and shampoo containers.

3. When there is number 3 inside the triangle, it alerts you not to use it, as the bottle is made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and contain carcinogens. Peanut butter jars are generally made with the plastics of this kind.

4. If there is number 4 in the triangle, such plastics are reusable all the way. Shopping bags are made with this kind of plastic.

5. It is number 5, that indicates such plastics are the safest of all. Ice-cream cups, syrup bottles, drinking straws, and a few other containers for medicine or food are made up of this plastic.

6. If the triangle has ‘6’ and ‘7’ numbers, they are considered as highly dangerous. The plastic is made of Polystyrene and Polycarbonate Bisphenol A (BPA) respectively. The usage of it can even lead to cancer and other serious heart diseases. This kind of plastics are commonly used in making plastic spoons, forks etc.

7. The wine glass and fork symbol is an international sign for ‘party safe’ plastic, indicating that it is pretty safe for food contact.

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