What Are the Seven Main Plastics?

The seven main types of plastic resins are polyethylene terephthalate (PETE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS). The seventh category is designated as “other,” which can include polycarbonate resins, acrylic, polyactic fibers, nylon, and fiberglass, just to name a few.

Where Did Plastic Recycling Symbols and Numbers Come From?

To determine which type of plastic a container is made of, you should look for its Resin Identification Code (RIC), which is the number (between 1 and 7) within the triangular recycling symbol located on each plastic product. This plastic recycling code system was introduced by the Plastics Industry Trade Association (SPI) in 1988 to assist communities that were implementing recycling programs.

These recycling numbers will also help you determine if that type of plastic will be accepted by your local recycling programs. If you’re interested in learning more about recycling plastic, check out the infographic below.