On the bottom or on the plastic bottle packaging, users can see special symbols. So what do those symbols mean? The article below is symbols on plastic bottles common and their meanings.
1. Common symbols on plastic bottles
a. Symbol on plastic bottle number 1: polyethylene terephthalate (abbreviated PETE or PET)
PETE or PE is symbol on plastic bottle only one of the most common types of plastic today. This symbol is usually located on the packaging or on the bottom of the plastic bottle. In terms of characteristics, this plastic is very durable, able to withstand extreme heat and force.
At the same time, PET plastic’s gas permeability is considered to be better than many other plastics. However, PET plastic is transparent, quite porous and has many pores, so it is difficult to clean. Therefore, this type of plastic is also very difficult to recycle.
In terms of safety, PET plastic has been tested by FDA and health authorities around the world. This plastic is completely free of substances harmful to human health such as BPA or phthalates. Therefore, this product is completely suitable for the purpose of holding drinks of the user.
However, when at 80ºC, PET plastic can melt. Therefore, you should pay attention not to pour hot drinks into PET plastic bottles. When melted, DEHA components can be mixed with water and cause poisoning for users. And when the drink poured into the bottle is too hot, the water bottle will shrink to its full size.Symbol on plastic bottle number 1: polyethylene terephthalate (abbreviated PETE or PET)
b. Symbol on plastic bottle #2: high-density polyethylene (abbreviated HDPE)
HDPE is symbol on plastic bottle only a thermoplastic polymer produced from the ethylene monomer. In terms of characteristics, this plastic is quite light, flexible, elastic, moisture resistant and durable.
Unlike PET plastic, HDPE plastic can withstand heat and strong chemicals extremely well. HDPE bottles are perfectly able to hold hot drinks and are resistant to the sun.
It is also the safest of all plastics. The composition of this plastic does not include any harmful substances.
c. Symbol on plastic bottle number 3: polyvinyl chloride (abbreviated PVC), also known as vinyl (V)
PVC or V is symbol on plastic bottle just a rather soft and pliable plastic. This is a type of plastic that is also quite popular.
However, PVC contains a number of chemicals that can harm the body’s hormones. These chemicals will form extremely toxic substances when in high temperature environment. Therefore, like PET plastic, V plastic bottles are not capable of holding hot drinks.
This plastic should also not be reused. In turn, the advantage of PVC is that they are relatively cheap on the market today.
d. Symbol on plastic bottle #4: low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE is Symbols on reusable plastic bottles only a low density plastic. This plastic is rated as the safest of all plastics. Because they do not contain harmful materials, users can reuse these plastic bottles.
However, due to its high plasticity, users are not allowed to put hot drinks in plastic bottles. At the same time, plastic bottles when kept for reuse should be stored in a cool environment, avoiding direct sunlight.
e. Symbol on plastic bottle number 5: polypropylene (PP)
PP is Symbols on reusable plastic bottles only a polymer made from the polymerization of propylene. In terms of properties, this polymer has relatively high mechanical strength compared to the common ground. In addition, PP is also one of the cheapest polymers available today.
At the same time, PP’s resistance to termites and chemicals is relatively good. Even diluted acids or bases are nearly impossible to react with Polypropylene. Therefore, polypropylene becomes the first choice for cleaning purposes.
PP plastic products have semi-crystalline properties. Therefore, this product has very high elasticity, ductility and resistance to deformation. This product also has excellent moisture resistance and excellent electrical insulation.
In terms of aesthetic value, PP plastic usually has a natural opaque color and has a smooth surface. It can be said that this product has a relatively stable aesthetic. It is relatively difficult to cover the PP plastic surface with a different paint color. The reason for that is because this resin has extremely poor bonding properties.
However, PP plastic is very flammable, the coefficient of thermal expansion of this plastic is relatively high. Therefore, this product also cannot handle hot liquids and direct sunlight. UV degradation in this resin also occurs very frequently.
Not only that, PP plastic is also very easy to oxidize. PP resin can produce chlorinated solvent and aromatics chemical reaction. Therefore, these are two types of solutions that are absolutely not stored in PP plastic bottles.
In addition to those two solutions, PP plastic hardly reacts with other substances. Therefore, this is a relatively chemically inert plastic and safe for health. Not only for human health, PP plastic is also very friendly to the environment. Users can completely reuse PP plastic bottles.
g. Symbol on plastic bottle number 6: polystyrene (PS)
PS is symbol on plastic bottle only a thermoplastic. This resin is a product of styrene polymerization. For machining, pressing and injection molding methods in the range of 180–200 ℃ are usually chosen.
In terms of physical properties, PS plastic is hard, transparent, odorless and tasteless. Although PS plastic has no color, it is easy to color. When ignited, this resin will give off an unstable flame.
In terms of chemical properties, PS resin can be dissolved in aromatic hydrogen carbide, chlorinated hydrogen carbide, acetone, lye, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, boric acid, organic acids, herb oils, salt solutions and oxidizing agents. This resin will not dissolve in straight chain hydrogen carbide, low concentration alcohol, ether, phenol, acetic acid and water.
Regarding mechanical properties, the mechanical properties of PS resins are determined by the degree of polymerization. The weight of the PS plastic molecule is directly proportional to the temperature, strength and inversely proportional to the brittleness of the plastic.
However, when the polymerization exceeds the standard, the above mechanical properties will no longer be correct. At this time, the durability will be inversely proportional to the temperature of the PS resin. At a temperature higher than 80oC, PS plastic will melt, soft and sticky like rubber.
H. Symbol on plastic bottle number 7: polycarbonate (PC) or other plastic
Unlike the above plastics, PC plastic does not have its own plastic identification code. This type of plastic is classified in group 7 which is the group of other plastics.
In terms of characteristics, this is a plastic with high mechanical strength, quite flexible and often transparent. This resin is extremely resistant to heat, force, gas, abrasion and light transmission. However, the scratch resistance of the plastic is extremely poor.
PC plastic contains BPA. This is a highly toxic substance for users. When the body absorbs a certain amount of BPA, the user will be likely to get cancer.
2. Other symbols on the plastic box
ABS plastic is quite solid and hard, has high strength and good electrical insulation. The water resistance, abrasion resistance and chemical resistance of this plastic are quite good. At the same time, the dimensional stability and electrical insulation of ABS are also excellent. However, this plastic does not have high brittleness.
In terms of color, usually, ABS plastic will be natural white or milky white. In terms of cost, the cost of ABS plastic is relatively low because it is easy to process. In terms of smell and color, ABS plastic has no odor, has good color fastness, and can be dyed.
In terms of safety, ABS plastic is relatively harmless to the user’s body at room temperature.
Through this article, learners have learned the meaning symbols on plastic bottles basic. Note that users should not use plastic with code symbols 3, 6 and 7. If the bottle does not have the symbols mentioned in the above article, users should avoid using it.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.