Plastic is not as simple as you think. Each of them is […]
Plastic is not as simple as you think. Each of them is different from the others. Some of them are reusable, while others produce harmful substances after repeated use. Some are easy to recycle, while others require more complex and complicated processing during the recycling process.
Take the plastic products closest to you, maybe the lunch box you brought from home, your water bottle, your instant noodle cup. If you study it carefully, you may find a number on the back or bottom.
You may already know what it is. This number indicates the type of plastic used to make the product you currently have. But do you know exactly which numbers to avoid and which numbers are most likely to damage the environment?
7 pointed plastic
7 plastic resin codes
All in all, there are 7 types of plastics in modern times:
1-Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE or polyester)
PET is also called non-wrinkle fiber. It is different from our common plastic bags in supermarkets. PET is mainly used in food and beverage packaging because it has a strong ability to prevent oxygen from entering and destroying internal products. It also helps prevent the escape of carbon dioxide in carbonated beverages.
Although PET is most likely to be recycled by recycling programs, this plastic contains antimony trioxide-a substance considered carcinogen-that can cause cancer in living tissue.
The longer the liquid is placed in the PET container, the greater the possibility of antimony release. High temperatures in cars, garages and enclosed warehouses may also increase the release of harmful substances.
PET Honey Bottles is also one of them.
2-High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Compared with other types, HDPE has a long, almost unbranched polymer chain, which makes them very dense and therefore stronger and thicker than PET. HDPE is commonly used as food bags, opaque milk, juice containers, shampoo bottles, and medicine bottles.
Not only is it recyclable, HDPE is relatively more stable than PET. It is considered a safer choice for food and beverages, although some studies have shown that it can leach additive chemicals that mimic estrogen, which can damage the body's hormonal system when exposed to ultraviolet light.
3-Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC-Source: Green and Growth
PVC-Source: Green and Growth
PVC is commonly used in toys, blister packaging, plastic wrap, detergent bottles, loose-leaf adhesives, blood bags and medical tubes. Before the manufacturing and disposal process of PVC was declared to cause serious health risks and environmental pollution problems, PVC or vinyl used to be the second most widely used plastic resin in the world (after polyethylene).
In terms of toxicity, PVC is considered the most dangerous plastic. Using it may leach a variety of toxic chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, lead, dioxins, mercury and cadmium.
Several of the chemicals mentioned may cause cancer; it may also cause allergic symptoms in children and disrupt the human hormonal system. PVS is also rarely accepted by recycling programs. This is why it is best to avoid PVC at all costs.
4-Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE plastic-Source: Polymer Solutions
As mentioned earlier, polyethylene is the most used plastic family in the world. This type of plastic has the simplest plastic polymer chemical structure, so it is very easy and very cheap to process.
LDPE polymers have significant chain branching, including long side chains, which make their density and crystallinity lower (ordered structure), so they are usually a thinner and more flexible form of polyethylene.
LDPE is mainly used for bags (groceries, dry cleaning, bread, frozen food bags, newspapers, garbage), plastic wrap; coating of paper milk cartons and hot and cold beverage cups; some squeezable bottles (honey, mustard), food storage Containers, container lids. It is also used for wire and cable coating.
Although some studies have shown that LDPE can also cause unhealthy hormonal effects on humans, LDPE is considered a safer plastic choice for food and beverages. Unfortunately, this type of plastic is difficult to recycle.
PP is harder and more heat-resistant, and is widely used in hot food containers. Its strength quality is between LDPE and HDPE. In addition to being used for thermal vests and car parts, PP is also included in disposable diapers and sanitary napkin pads.
Like LDPE, PP is considered a safer choice for food and beverage plastics. Despite all these amazing qualities, PP is not completely recyclable, and it can also cause human asthma and hormonal disorders.
Polystyrene (PS) is the polystyrene foam we usually use for food containers, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, packaging, and bicycle helmets.
When in contact with hot and oily food, PS will leach styrene, which is considered a brain and nervous system poison. It may also affect genes, lungs, liver and immune system. In addition to all these risks, the recovery rate of PS is very low.
Number 7 applies to all plastics except those identified by numbers 1-6, as well as plastics that may be layered or mixed with other types of plastics (such as bioplastics).
Polycarbonate (PC) is the most common plastic in this category, and because it is associated with bisphenol A (BPA), it has been used less frequently in recent years. PCs also have various names.
Ironically, PC is commonly used in baby bottles, straw cups, water bottles, water gallons, metal food can linings, ketchup containers, and dental sealants. Due to its toxicity, some countries have banned the use of PC in baby bottles and infant formula packaging.
The BPA contained in PC is related to many health problems, including chromosomal damage in women's ovaries, decreased sperm production in men, early puberty, and various behavioral changes.
It is also related to changes in immune function, gender reversal of frogs, impaired brain and nerve function, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset (type II) diabetes, obesity, resistance to chemotherapy, increased risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and infertility It is related to metabolic disorders.
Coupled with its very low recovery rate quality, avoid using a PC at all costs.
3 Important things!
Remembering all these 7 different types of plastics can be overwhelming, so there are a few key points to keep in mind:
Although it varies by type, each plastic may leach harmful substances if it is placed in extreme conditions (such as extreme heat).
Three of the plastics considered safer are polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (2-HDPE), and polypropylene (5-PP).
Although experts are currently working on inventing the best methods and strategies for recycling all these types of plastics, the two most commonly used plastics in recycling programs are polyethylene terephthalate (1-PET) and high-density polyethylene (2-HDPE).
We hope you now know which type of plastic to use for food and beverage containers, and which plastic you might want to avoid due to low recycling rates.
Don't forget to separate your waste responsibly. Do not mix organic and non-organic materials; separate glass from paper and plastic. It will help the recycling process! The choice of plastic for Small Plastic Juice Bottles requires careful selection.