Previously in our article, we talked about the plastic types used in the packaging and the meanings of the codes on it. To read our article and to find out which kinds of plastics we consume, you can go to our article: “TYPES OF PLASTIC PACKAGING AND USAGE AREAS”. In this article, we will talk about the numbers and logos related to the recycling of plastic products.

Since 1988, with an international agreement, the plastic containers where water and food are placed has begun to be enumerated. These numbers are usually shown in a triangle in the base. These numbers indicate which plastic is that container made of.

All substances with a recycling mark mean packagings evaluated for recycling. The packaging is marked by packaging manufacturers and marketers for the purpose of reclaiming, reusing and recycling packaging wastes as well as raising the awareness of the consumer. These products, which will be recycled and used as raw materials in the production facilities in the factories, have 1 – 7 number values on the plastic ones. These values are determined according to the Regulation on Control of Packaging Wastes. Of course, each of these number values has a meaning. It is necessary to give place to this and thus to clarify what all these numbers mean.

You Have Surely Seen These Numbers on the Products Before

Let’s see what these numbers mean.

Products with #1

This number symbolized as PET or PETE is generally used in water bottles, jars, oil bottles and beverage bottles. This plastic material is polyethylene terephthalate; It is hard, durable, synthetic fiber, resin and polyester and is a member of the polymer family. Pet bottles are a good barrier materials and are especially used for soft drinks.

It is easily recyclable and is the most recycled plastic. It can be recycled back to its original PET form when collected in its pure form under appropriate conditions. PET was patented in 1941 by the Calico Printer Partnership in Manchester. The PET bottle was patented in 1973.

Products with #2

HDPE, whose main name is High-density polyethylene and is represented by number 2, is a high density polyethylene material as the name suggests. The barrier property of HDPE films is better than LDPE films, but also HDPE films are harder than LDPE films. It is a solid and economical material and it is white in color. It is one of the most used plastics due to its resistance to breakage, its being easy to take shape and low cost.

This material has a wide usage area such as soft drinks bottles, milk bottles, cleaning products packaging, buckets, liquid detergents, bleach, shampoos and garbage bags.

Although it is similar to LDPE in appearance, it is a polymer which is much harder than that and its molecular mass is around 150000-400000. This material has good water and chemical resistance. This resistance can be increased with special additives (carbon black), although it is not as durable as in LDPE in light and outdoor conditions. Mechanical properties are very good, especially the impact and tensile strength is high. With some fillers, the properties are further improved. Under normal conditions the tensile strength is around 225-350 kgf / cm² and the temperature resistance is above 100 ° C.

HDPE, which has a wide usage area, is used in pressure pipes, gas distribution pipes, bottles, drums, barrels, white goods and machine parts, insulator, toys, electrical and electronic goods. In recent years, HDPE has been used in boat and warehouse construction due to its water resistance.

As HDPE is extremely resistant to aging and corrosion (minimum 50 years of measurable life), it has a longer service life, especially at sea, compared to all other materials used in boat construction. As the voltage crack and crack resistance are high, impact accidents are avoided with minimum damage. Because PE materials are flexible, they show ease and stability even under the worst operating conditions. On the other hand, in heavy sea and weather conditions, the elasticity of the material increases the driving comfort with its damping effect.

It is lighter and easier to assemble than steel, wood, aluminum or composite materials. It provides many constructive convenience during and after the manufacturing process. Polyethylene’s anti-corrosion property protects its performance and resistance in all operating conditions.

Impact resistance is very high and does not show brittleness even at low temperatures. Thanks to the additives involved, their resistance is maintained at high temperatures. It does not contain dirt and water, does not contain toxic substances and is very easy to clean. It has high resistance to freezing. It is not even affected by the freezing of the liquid it contains. It is lighter and more economical than steel, aluminum and wood thanks to its raw material. When the boats are lighter, the operating costs decrease. There is no need for paint and maintenance and it is very easy to clean. In many applications no paint or other protective coating is required.

Products with #3

Polyvinyl chloride, PVC with its short name, is numbered 3 on plastic material packages. Originally discovered by accident in two different states in the 19th century, Henri Victor Regnault in 1835 and Eugen Baumann in 1872, PVC was widely used in the commercial field in the 20th century.

There are two different PVCs, hard and flexible. Detergents, cleaning materials such as washing liquids, window and pipe systems, exterior cladding, roofing materials, vegetable oils and shampoo bottles, artificial leather and soft toys are made of PVC.


Products with #4

LDPE, which is an abbreviation for low-density polyethylene, is a low density polyethylene material and is symbolized by 4 numbers on the packages. LDPE is the most preferred plastic in the world. LDPE is nontoxic and also provides good barrier to moisture. It maintains its flexibility as a packaging material even up to low temperatures such as -70. In addition, the thermal bonding property is quite good.
LDPE is generally used in squeezable bottles, dry cleaning, shopping bags, bread pouches, carpets and bags.

This material is from the polyethylene family, which is also called PE in the plastics industry. It has a flexible structure. Its chemical resistance is very good so it is preferred a lot in the field of coating and protection. It has good protection against heat and moisture. Coatings, packaging for protection of food products, tubes, insulating layer of cables, bags can be given as examples.

Products with #5

Polypropylene, shortly PP, is symbolized by number 5 on the packaging. The lowest density of plastics used in packaging is PP, and it is a chemical and heat resistant material. It has a medium hardness and gloss, but also it is a kind of plastic that prevents moisture.

Yoghurt and milk containers, margarine tubes, ketchup bottles, chips and biscuit packaging, microwave food trays, medicine bottles, chairs, suitcases, carpets, ropes, some containers and lids are made of polypropylene plastics.


Products with #6

This part forms a hard and foam product group. The plastic material which is a polystyrene, PS in short, and which takes place on the packages is symbolized with number 6. It is a kind of plastic which is hard, brittle and versatile. It is an affordable plastic material with low melting point.

Polystyrene plastic is used in products such as fast food packaging containers, cups, yogurt containers, coffee pots, egg cartons, coolers, trays, video and audio cassette containers, cutlery, covers, small boots and dog food containers.

Products with #7

Finally, the products in this group are other plastic products called “Other.” Computer hardware products, carboys, dvd containers, sunglasses, nylon are included in this group. PC plastic group called polycarbonate is marked with number 7.