Most plastic these days is labeled with a small triangle on the bottom with a number in it to tell us where it stands on the recycling chart. This chart can also be useful to telling us whether the plastic is safe or not as well.
#1 – Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) – Good, i.e. water bottles, ketchup, jelly
#2 – High density polyethylene – Good, i.e. milk, water, juice bottles, grocery bags
#3 – Polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC) – BAD! Most cling-wrapped meats and other foods sold in delicatessens are wrapped in PVC, in other words, take your own container! Traces of these chemicals can leach out of PVC when in contact with foods. According to the National Institutes of Health, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), commonly found in PVC, is a suspected human carcinogen.
#4 – Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) – Good, i.e. bread & frozen food bags
#5 – Polypropylene (PP) – Good, i.e. ketchup, yogurt
#6 – Polystyrene (PS) – BAD – Foam insulation and also for hard applications (i.e. cups, some toys)
Benzene (material used in production) is a known human carcinogen. Butadiene and styrene are suspected carcinogens.
#7- Other – CAN BE BAD if in fact it is polycarbonate so look for PC on bottom and avoid when found! Polycarbonate is made with biphenyl-A, a hormone disruptor that can leach into food.
So take an hour and go through your dishes and get familiar with the numbers, pitch anything unsafe, if you don’t have you won’t use it!
Information for this blog was gathered from the following links: