General Question

rowenaz's avatar

What's the number on the bottom of the plastic bottle supposed to be...

Asked by rowenaz (2431points) June 20th, 2008

that means it’s okay to reuse? There has been a lot in the news recently about plastic bottles not being reuseable because they can cause cancer, but I also heard that some water bottles for hiking are okay. Thanks!

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15 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It refers to the type of plastic used. 1s and 2s are recyclable.

Allie's avatar

Nalgene bottles are 7 and it was just in the news that any kind of plastic product with 7s on them are really bad for you. Nalgene is switching to another plastic, but if you have one of those get rid of it and find something else to use for now – or take a risk, your choice.

thebeadholder's avatar

BPA free.
Try using an aluminum one like SIGG. Cool stuff!

rowenaz's avatar

I bought the Clean Canteen (or something like that) but I checked the other water bottles because I want to take the kids on a hike – any idea what a four is? I threw out the 7’s and the 3’s…

Allie's avatar

You’re pretty much ok with 2s, 4s, and 5s. 1s aren’t meant to be reused and over time can leach plastics into your water (or whatever it is you have in the bottle). 3s, 6s and 7s aren’t good for you (these are usually polycarbonates) so try to avoid them.

Trance24's avatar

The number inside the triangle right? That refers to whether it is a recyclable plastic or not. 1 and 2 are recyclable.

mcbealer's avatar

I’ve also heard that temperature instability (room to freezer, freezer to microwave, or a ventilated car to the temps reached in a closed car during summertime) can cause certain plastics to leach.

mvgolden's avatar

The number in the triangle refers to the type of plastic it is. I found a good table on wikipedia. It is up to your local recycling agency what they will take. Here in Columbus OH they will take any plastic bottles #1—#7.

I have not really paid attention to the Nalgene toxin issue, but I did find that Nalgene is trying to stay out ahead of it. http://www.nalgenechoice.com/

surlygirl's avatar

@mygolden: where do you take your bottles. i have only found recycling for 1s & 2s in cols.

aren’t 3s outlawed in the usa?

when i got a sigg, my SO freaked out! according to him, the lining is some undisclosed material that even the sigg people don’t have the composition of. he’s been actively campaigning against purchasing them. the contract is up with the liner manufacturer soon and won’t be renewed. i haven’t researched this to verify. when i was looking into buying one, i read many sources that said the lining was perfectly safe and non-leaching. just something to think about.

Allie's avatar

mygolden: Isn’t it hard to find a place to recycle 7s? I think it’s because 7 doesn’t have just one kind of plastic in it – it’s a mix of several kinds.

mvgolden's avatar

We have curbside pickup, but there are also some drop off locations. It is all run by Rumke

I was shocked when I moved here for the SF Bay Area. As far as I know most of the Bay Area only took #1 and #2. I went and checked SF’s website and I think I saw they are now taking all plastic expect for plastic bags.

rowenaz's avatar

Now I have a triangle that has PC in it. What is that?

Allie's avatar

PC means that the plastic is polycarbonate plastic – it’s basically the same as a 7. Try to steer clear of it, I bet it’s got Bisphenol A in it which is bad for your health.

emilyrose's avatar

@allie: yes, you are right. 7 doesn’t even refer to one type of plastic. any random plastic can be labeled a 7.

everyone: it depends where you live if these things are recyclable. in theory they are, but each city/county has their own system set up.

@mygolden: the rules in sf are 2,4,5 containers, and any plastic bottle. you can’t recycle 1,6,7, or 3 unless they are in bottle form. something to do with the market of plastic.

i used to work for recycling in SF which is why i know all the nerdy details!

finally, i would not drink out of any of the plastic bottles over and over as the plastic leaches….yuck!

arnbev959's avatar

Ehk, plastics. I go with glass whenever possible.

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