Plastics are everywhere. Look around you, from your home, just how many plastic items around you can take notice? From food containers, household utensils to bags, kid’s toys, shower curtains, cosmetics packaging, and water bottles – plastic has become a permanent fixture in everyday lives, and this has been quite alarming especially when it comes to safety.
The news about plastics has been distressing public safety, while some are Eco-friendly, may be safe for kids but others contain harmful chemicals and cause dangerous pollution during manufacturing. People have been told to recycle plastic bottles and containers but what will actually happen to the plastic if we just throw it away?
To understand where these bottles end up, it is important to explore their origins. The plastic in their bodies was formed by chemically bonding oil and gas molecule together to make monomers. These monomers, in turn, were bonded into long polymer chains to make plastics in the form of millions of pellets.
These pellets were melted down at manufacturing plants and reformed into molds to create resilient material. Machines filled the bottles and then wrapped, shipped, bought, opened, consumed and unceremoniously thrown away. As if by magic, bottles are ready to be reborn as something entirely new.
In this modern time, it’s just impossible to avoid plastics, but you can look for plastics that are safer for your family and the environment. With an effort to be healthier, many of us make a point of carrying water bottles with us everywhere we go. People buy bottled water for a variety of reasons; convenience, fashion, taste, and many more. But do you know what numbers of plastic for water bottles are safe for you?
What do Plastic Recycling Symbols Mean?
Have you ever think about the logos with number or recycling symbols mean at the bottom of plastic bottles and containers before? You should. They tell you what kind of plastic the product is made from. It is the key to becoming a better recycler because not all plastics are created equal. So the better you know your plastics, the safer for your family and the environment.
Some are safer than others while the use of all plastics should be limited if at all possible. Now is the time to learn more about the various plastics you use and drink or eat from every single day, and what impact they have not only on you, your family, but also the environment.
The Numbers Behind Plastic Water Bottles
Every plastic container or bottle has a recycling symbol, ranging from 1 to 7, within a triangle. You may think nothing of these symbols, but they can actually offer a great deal of information regarding the toxic chemicals used in the plastic, how bio-degradable the plastic is how likely the plastic is to leach, and ultimately the safety of the plastic.
If you’ve been concerned, understanding the differences between types of plastic will help you make better decisions in choosing and recycling plastics. Here is some information on the various recycling symbols and numbers. How to know which plastics are safe for you? Find out here:
PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) plastic bottles were invented by DuPont engineer Nathaniel Wyeth in the USA in 1973 and by polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. It’s the first plastic bottle to withstand the pressure of carbonated liquids.
PET or PETE is typically recycled into tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, fiber, and polar fleece. It is used to make bottles of water, juice, soft drinks, mouthwash, sports drinks and containers for condiments like salad dressing, jelly, ketchup, and jam. Polyethylene Terephthalate is considered safe, but it can actually leach the toxic metal antimony.
Plastic #1 is intended for one-time use only. As a precaution, these bottles should not be reused or heated and can be recycled once into new secondary products such as fabric, carpet or plastic lumber. Some studies have found levels of antimony (a toxic chemical) discharge from water bottles that have been placed in the heat for prolonged times. It’s always best to make sure that your water bottles are not temperature abused even though PETE does not contain BPA or Phthalates.