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Knowing Your Plastics: Recycling Symbols No. 1 to 7

May 8th, 2018 RSS feed icon

plastic resin identification codes

Have you ever wondered what the number inside the arrowed triangle means at the bottom of a plastic product? That logo printed on your plastic is known as a Resin Identification Code or RIC, which a set of symbols used to identify the type of resin from which a plastic product is made. Created by The Society of the Plastics, the system was introduced to U.S. recycling facilities in the late 1980s as a method of reprocessing plastics for further use and manufacturing. Today, the resin code system has become a useful tool for consumers after an increased public awareness of recycling.

What is Resin?

Before plastic is transformed into a product, it starts out in the form of tiny pellets known as resin. Resin is the base of the manufacturing process and have various properties. The pellets undergo a molding method where the plastic is transformed; but the way a product is manufactured depends on the type of resin used. For example, the forming process from P.E.T. resin will be different from the forming process of polystyrene resin, which is why the RIC system is important.

Do Genpak products contain BPA (Bisphenol-A)?

BPA is not used either directly or indirectly with any Genpak products include polystyrene or foamed polystyrene products.

 

Genpak products can be broken down and reformed into more products.

Here are our recyclable plastics, which are safe and offer various features and benefits.

 

#1 PETE - Polyethylene Terepthalate

Polyethylene Terepthalate

stacked clear food containers

P.E.T. plastic products are the most common type of curb-side recyclable plastic. Genpak’s containers made of this material also contain up to 30% post-consumer recycled content, in our conservational efforts to eliminate waste. Genpak’s P.E.T. products include Clear Hinged Deli Containers, Clear Hinged Food Containers, Oven Ready Bakery and Food Containers, Hinged Bakery Containers, Supermarket Containers, Serving Bowls, Clear Cups as well as most of our clear Foodservice Lids.

 

#5 PP - Polypropylene

Polypropylene

hinged, clear top food containers

Another common, curb-side recycled plastic is polypropylene. This type of material is commonly used to produce microwave safe products and great for carrying heavy meals. At Genpak, we produce our Smart Set Pro, Harvest Pro and our new ProView products from polypropylene, which are microwavable and dishwasher-safe for convenience.

#6 PS - Polystyrene

Polystyrene

polystyrene hinged food containers

Polystyrene is a common type of food packaging material with the #6 plastic identification symbol. It has been safely used for nearly 50 years. Genpak products made of polystyrene material include our Smart Set Foam, Foam Hinged Dinner Containers, Foam Hinged Snack Containers, Dinnerware, and our Food Serving Trays. For more information about polystyrene, click here. Need to know where to drop off a Genpak foam product to be recycled? Click here to search for a foam recycling facility nearest your location.

 

At Genpak, we’re passionate about engineering products that perfectly blend with immediate packaging needs. Our history has demonstrated a consistency in developing new products that are both sustainable and recyclable. To request free samples, click here.

PCR process image

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