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The resin identification code, (also known simply as a plastic's "recycling codear ") is a number inside the universal symbol for recycling (three turning, mutually chasing arrows; ♲) found on a plastic informing you of its polymer type. Developed by the Society of the Plastics Industry at the urging of recyclers in 1988, it allows easy identification of a plastic item. At the time of writing, there are presently eight different codes:

 

1: PET or PETE - polyethelene terephthalate (pop bottles bottles)

2: HDPE - high-density polyethelene (grocery bags, milk jugs, recycling bins

3: PVC - polyvinyl chloride (pipes, lawn chairs, marshmallow guns)

4: LDPE - low density polyethelene (the rings holding your six-pack of beer together)

5: PP - polypropylene (car parts)

6: PS - polystyrene (packaging peanuts)

7: O or OTHER - fiberglass, acrylic, nylon, Nalgene bottles, multilayer plastics and others

9 or ABS: Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (certain high impact objects)

 

Source: http://plasticsindustry.org

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