Plastic products are often marked with numbers that indicate the type of plastic they are made from. These numbers can help consumers determine which plastics are considered safer and more sustainable. Plastics are divided into three groups: CHOOSE, OK, and AVOID. More information about these groups can be found in the Help center.
Is a common type of plastic used for returnable bottles and some packaging. It is meant for single use and can be harmful if used too many times because it can collect bacteria and is difficult to clean. PET plastic is generally considered to have a low environmental and health risk, but it should not be used for long-term use.
Is high density polyethylene, a hard plastic used to make cleaning products, oil bottles, toys, and some plastic bags. This type of plastic does not release chemicals, but it should not be heated as it can become dangerous.
3: PVC or 3V
Is a soft, flexible plastic used for plastic film for food, cooking oil bottles, teething rings, and toys for children and pets. The plastic contains phthalates, which are proven endocrine disruptors and can be harmful if heated. The Nature Conservation Society advises against using old or imported PVC as it may not comply with EU regulations.
Is low density polyethylene and is used for packaging bread, frozen food, plastic bags, clothes, and furniture. This plastic has no known environmental or health risks, but should not be heated.
5: PP, or polypropylene
Is a hard, light, and heat-resistant plastic often used in syrup or yogurt packaging. It can withstand high temperatures and has low environmental and health risks as long as no dangerous additives are added.
6: PS, or polystyrene
Is found in disposable tableware, yogurt packaging, and disposable cans for salads. It also occurs in toys, computers, and kitchen appliances. PS can leach chemicals into food and should be avoided. It also emits carcinogenic substances when heated and is unsuitable for long-term use.
7: PC or non-branded plastic
Is a mixed category that includes both harmless and dangerous plastics. Bioplastics are not hazardous to health, but polycarbonate, a hard transparent plastic often found in bottles and decanters, contains the hormone-disrupting substance Bisphenol A.
If you come across this category in beverage bottles or food containers, be careful.
The "glass and fork" symbol or the words "food grade" are used on all plastic materials that are safe for use in food.
Plastics marked with numbers 3, 6, and 7 may contain harmful chemicals and should be avoided. These plastics should not be used for long periods of time or exposed to heat, especially when storing food with high fat content. It is recommended to choose bottles made from safer plastics to reduce potential risks to health and the environment.
3 – PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
Plastics marked with the number 3 are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and may contain hormone-disrupting substances such as Bisphenol A and phthalates. These plastics should not be used for long periods of time or exposed to heat, especially when storing food with high-fat content. It is recommended to choose alternative plastics that do not contain these potentially harmful chemicals.
6 – PS (polystyrene)
Plastics marked with the number 6 are made from polystyrene (PS) and may contain flame retardants or styrene, which can be endocrine disrupting and potentially carcinogenic. It is recommended to avoid using products made from this type of plastic, especially in contact with food, to reduce the potential risks to health and the environment.
7 – Other/Miscellaneous/PC
Plastics marked with the number 7 may be made from a variety of materials, including other plastics, composite plastics, or polycarbonate. Polycarbonate contains the hormone-disrupting substance Bisphenol A, which has been linked to potential health risks. It is recommended to avoid using products marked with the number 7, especially if they are in contact with food, to reduce the potential risks to health and the environment.
To summarize, it is recommended to avoid using plastic products marked with the numbers 3, 6, and 7, as these plastics may contain harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to health and the environment. It is best to choose alternative plastics that are considered safer and more sustainable.