Common plastics and their recycling symbols

October 1st, 2010 by Richard Lord


The table of common plastics and their symbols is published in the Guidance on Applying the Waste Hierarchy

Currently only Plastic No. 1 (PET, PETE) and Plastic No. 2 (HDPE) can be recycled at Guernsey’s Bring Banks.  However a Guernsey recycling business is looking at the feasibility of recycling Plastic No. 5.

Marks & Spencers is carrying out Plan A, which aims to use only recyclable or compostable packaging by 2012.

Many plastic food packagers are switching from Plastic No. 5 to Plastic No. 1 or No. 2 which can be recycled in Guernsey.

Plastic No. 5 (currently not recyclable in Guernsey) is used to make margarine tubs, yoghurt tubs, microwaveable meal trays etc. but increasingly these containers are being made of plastic No. 1 and No. 2 that are recyclable.  Therefore before disposing of any plastic food container it is worthwhile checking to see if it is now made of Plastic No. 1 or No. 2.

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