WHAT REALLY MEANS 
THE NUMBER UNDER THE BOTTLE?

Sustainable cleaning, plastics industry

Have you ever stopped and thought about the numbers that appear under a bottle? Have you perhaps noticed that they can differ, from bottle to bottle? Today we are going to straighten it out once and for all: what do the numbers under the bottles really mean?

There is a system for bottles to show what they contain and what they are suitable for. Certain types of plastic in bottles are suitable for certain areas better than others. The marking on the bottom of the bottle has a number between 1-7, where they all have different materials that work better for various different purposes. 

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Number one is often seen in PET bottles. The material is often used for the plastic bottles that are transparent, as it has a glossy surface. PET in turn can later be recycled into polyester fabric and filling for fleece, carpets and padding in pillows. This type of bottle can also be reused as rPET plastic where it goes through the entire life cycle again to become plastic bottles of type rPET. So number one stands for it is made of PET or rPet. rPET in turn is made from recycled plastic that has previously been in packaging materials or plastic bottles, for example. In our bottles we use 100% rPET, as this is an excellent substance that also leads to less occupied surface on landfills then 100% of all PET bottles can be converted to rPet in the end. 

Number two then stands for HDPE plastic (high density polyethylene) which is another type of recycled plastic. This is, instead of the PET bottle which is glossy, instead matte in its surface. You will often find this type of bottle in caps, shampoo bottles and bottles for cleaning products.

Type number three is PVC , ie polyvinyl chloride, which is not recyclable in municipal collections. This type of plastic is usually found in plastic foil, hoses and plastic pipes, packaging of meat and in some toys. As the substance is hard in nature, phthalates are added to make it softer. These then leak out throughout the life of the product, which is dangerous as phthalates are hormone-affecting. This material should be avoided as much as possible. 

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LDPE is the material contained in the bottle which has a four underneath. And what does this material mean then? Well, that it (often) is recyclable! Something to look out for to know if you can recycle it is that it is available in hand cream packages in tube form, carrier bags or packaging films.

Number five stands for PP, which is the substance polypropylene and this can also be recycled. This type of material can be found in packing tape, ketchup bottles and the trays that are in the microwave. This material can then be recycled to brooms, brushes and rakes. Cool huh?

Number six is ​​the subject PS, polystyrene, a substance that is not usually recyclable. Polystyrene is divided into two different types: polystyrene which is brittle plastic and the second type (the one that is harder in the material) is expanded polystyrene, which in turn is light, insulating and a waterproof plastic. The harder type can be found in items such as plastic forks and the softer type is recycled in foamed takeaway packaging and styrofoam. There are not many studies on this type of material, but there is evidence that PS can cause liver, kidney and testicular damage. Therefore, products with number six should be avoided as much as possible. 

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The last number, number seven, means another plastic. This type is not recyclable and therefore differs from the other types of plastic. Number 7 should be avoided as much as possible, as it contains substances such as polycarbonate (with the substance) bisphenol A) and polyamide. You will find this type of plastic on sunglasses, computers and lunch boxes among many other things. The substance bisphenol A (also called BPA) has been widely discussed as it has a hormonal effect. Research have found links between endocrine disruptors and difficulty having children, type 2 diabetes and brain development.

Endocrine disruptors can also, in the worst case, lead to cancers of various kinds. In addition, endocrine disruptors affect not only humans but also animals and in the long run as well our ecosystem. It's scary, but fortunately there are things we can do to reduce our exposure to these substances that are endocrine disruptors.

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By eating organic, you avoid endocrine disruptors in the food you eat. You can also avoid preserves altogether, where the surface treatment may contain bisphenol A. Another thing you may not think about is that old plastic toys also contain these toxic substances, so instead of inheriting these, they should be thrown away, such as dolls and plastic animals. . This applies to all toys older than 2007. We hope you, like us, learned more about the numbers under the bottle in this blog post. Let us all have a common service by getting rid of plastic products or bottles with numbers 3, 6 and 7. So the next time you are going to buy a plastic product you are going to have for a long time such as a water bottle or a lunch box - check the designation below to make sure you get a safe product with you home. 

Plastic packaging, plastics, plastics industry

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