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Plastic Number Recycling

Did you know - plastic bottles are #3 on the top 10 list of items found during international coastal cleanups?

Source reduction tip: Save money and the environment by using reusable water bottles

Recycling plastics is one method for reducing environmental impact and resource depletion as most plastics can be transformed into a variety of products that are used in many different ways. However, a major challenge for producing recycled resins from plastic waste is that many plastic types are not compatible with each other due to the variations in their chemical compositions.

Placing only acceptable materials in your recycling cart is the first step to eliminating contamination, ensuring the County receives the best possible prices for its commodities, and increasing our recycling and waste diversion rates.

The chart below identifies the different types of plastic resins and their possible uses.

Resin one to four
  • "1" signifies that the product is made out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) such as beverage bottles, cups, other packaging, etc.

     

  • 2" signifies high-density polyethylene (PE-HD)  such as bottles, cups, milk jugs, etc.

     

  • "3" signifies polyvinyl chloride (PVC) such as pipes, siding, flooring, etc.

     

  • "4" signifies low-density polyethylene (PE-LD) such as plastic bags, six-pack rings, tubing, etc.

     

 

Resin one to four
  • "5" signifies polypropylene (PP) such as auto parts, industrial fibers, food containers, etc.

     

  • "6" signifies polystyrene (PS) such as plastic utensils, Styrofoam™, cafeteria trays, etc.

     

  • "7" signifies other plastics such as acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate, and polylactic acid (PLA).

     

 

Please help us "Recycle Right", especially when it comes to our plastic waste:

  • Remember to rinse all food and beverage containers. Caps may be placed back on bottles.
  • Place dry plastic containers with only resin identification numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 (loose) into your recycling cart for curbside collection. Numbers 4 and 6 are NOT accepted for recycling and must be placed in the trash.
    • Number 4 - Plastic bags are NOT accepted in curbside recycling and yard trim/food scrap collections. However, clean and dry plastic bags, wraps, and film are accepted at various retailers throughout the County. Search where you can drop off accepted items at trex.com/recycling.
    • Any film packaging, bag, or bubble mailer (stickers removed) with the How2Recycle label can also be recycled at many retailers throughout the County. Be sure to check with your local store at:
      • Best Buy
      • Giant
      • Home Depot
      • Kohl's
      • Lowe's
      • Macy's
      • Safeway
      • Target
      • Walmart
    • Number 6 - Foam food products and foam packaging, including peanuts and Styrofoam™, are NOT accepted in curbside recycling. The sale and use of expanded foam products has been banned in Prince George's County since 2016. Check with your local municipality to see if they offer foam recycling opportunities throughout the year. The EPS Industry Alliance offers drop-off of block foam and coolers (only), located in Crofton, MD. 
    • Check with your local UPS or shipping retailer to recycle foam packing peanuts and bubble wrap mailers. 
  • Learn how to recycle your Amazon packaging here
  • Learn more about the How2Recycle label (example below) at how2recycle.info
    • How2Recycle label example Opens in new window
  • Read more information about plastic resin codes here.

 

Recycle Right Opens in new window