What do you know about plastic containers and how to get rid of them? July 3rd is International Day Without Plastic Bags. Unbeknownst to most people, we are surrounded by plastic items of various shapes and sizes. If we look around, we will notice that envelopes, most cooking and beauty appliances, even our toothbrush are made of plastic. Every plastic product must have a triangle with a certain number in it – from 1 to 7.
This is a recycling symbol and shows exactly what kind of plastic is used and how to recycle it after use. If you haven’t already – start reducing plastic in your life, because it causes huge damage to the planet and our health. Here are the common types of plastics used in everyday life, their main characteristics, and to what extent the particular plastic is harmful:
Here are the common types of plastics
– Number 1 – polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE). It is mainly used in the production of bottles for mineral water, carbonated and soft drinks, cough syrups, adhesive plaster, biscuit packaging, polyester fibers;
– Number 2 – high density polyethylene (HDPE) – Again for bottles, shopping bags, freezer bags, fresh milk bottles, irrigation pipes for agricultural produce, waste bins, imitation wood, ice cream and juice boxes, packaging of shampoo and detergents, for mineral water caps, etc.;
– Number 3 – polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC) – Mainly in the production of bottles for storing non-food products, packaging for cosmetic products, blisters, insulation of electrical appliances, pipelines, sewage, fences, joinery, flooring;
– Number 4 – low density polyethylene (PELD or LDPE) – It is low density polyethylene and is widely used in making disposable bags, various containers, dispensers for liquid soaps, soft bottles, packaging of shampoos, detergents, etc. , household film, packaging of cosmetic products, laboratory equipment, etc.;
– Number 5 – polypropylene (PP) – Mainly for straws, microwave plates, garden plastics, cups, food containers, housewares, salad wrappers, biscuits, etc. confectionery and pasta products, buckets for yogurt and fruit milks, diapers; – Number 6 – polystyrene (PS) – Disposable coffee cups, takeaway boxes, flower pots, toys, video and audio cassettes, ashtrays, ventilation pipe, CD/DVD cases, imitation glass cups, video and audio cassettes, etc.;
– 6.1. – polystyrene (PS-E) – A subspecies from which foam cups for hot drinks, containers for hot food, protection against breakage of fine elements are produced;
– Number 7 – other (OTHER or О) – This type of plastics is used to produce baby bottles, reusable water bottles, food storage boxes, packaging for medical needs; – Number 9 or ABS – Mainly in the manufacture of monitors, TV boxes, coffee machines, mobile phones, most computer components. There are also a number of other types used in the production of more specific products. Of those listed, those that must be avoided are numbered 3(PVC), 6(PS) and 7(PC).
What to do with plastic containers
The softeners contained in them are called “pthalates” and affect a person’s hormonal balance. During the production of these packages, dioxin is released, which is a powerful carcinogen and, in addition, causes hormonal abnormalities. The most dangerous is probably number 6 – polystyrene. In our country, however, even well-known brands of sour milk are distributed in plastic bottles made of this material. Most children’s toys are made of PVC plastics, which makes them potentially dangerous for children.