Your guide to recycling codes on plastics and which ones are recycled in Jamaica
Number 1 Plastics
PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) a relatively cheap and strong transparent plastic found in soft drink and water bottles; mouthwash bottles; peanut butter, salad dressing and vegetable oil containers; ovenable food trays.
Number 2 Plastics
HDPE (high density polyethylene) a strong, transparent plastic with good resistance against chemicals. Pigments are used to add colour and often used for juice bottles, bleach, detergent and household cleaner, pill and shampoo bottles; motor oil bottles; some butter and yogurt tubs.
Number 3 Plastics
V (Vinyl) or PVC is tough and weathers well, so it is commonly used for piping, siding and similar applications. Never burn PVC, because it releases toxins.
Number 4 Plastics
LDPE (low density polyethylene) a tough highly flexible plastic used for squeezable bottles, dry cleaning and shopping bags, and carpet.
Number 5 Plastics
PP (polypropylene) a strong light plastic with a high melting point, and so is often chosen for containers that must accept hot liquid like some yogurt and ice cream containers, syrup bottles and ketchup bottles.
Number 6 Plastics
PS (polystyrene) is stiff and rigid used in disposable cutlery, plates and cups and CD cases. Alternatively they can also be used to make food containers, which are now banned in Jamaica.
Number 7 Plastics
Other – A wide variety of plastic resins that don’t fit into the previous categories are lumped into number 7.
In Jamaica # 1 PET/PETE and #2 HDPE are currently being collected for recycling.