Read what each symbol means and about the plastic resin identified (PDFs).
These symbols on the bottom of plastic products are often misunderstood. They are codes that identify the type of plastic resin used to make the product. For one thing they do not identify anything such as "food grade".
They are simply a code used to aid in recycling. Whether the product is recycled, however, is a business decision on the part of the recycling company.
The SPI resin identification code has been developed to provide a
consistent national system to facilitate recycling of post-consumer plastics through the normal channels for collecting recyclable materials from household waste. Improper use of the SPI resin identification code can have serious ramifications for individual manufacturers and could jeopardize the integrity of the coding system. Therefore, all users of the code are encouraged to adhere diligently to the following guidelines:
* Use the SPI code on bottles and rigid containers in compliance with the 39 state laws now in effect.
* Use the SPI code solely to identify resin content.
* Comply with the FTC Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims whenever the SPI code is used.
* Make the code inconspicuous at the point of purchase so it does not influence the consumer's buying decision.
* Do not modify the elements of the code in any way (i.e., do not replace the resin acronym in the code and do not use other types of chasing arrows).
* Do not make recycling claims in close proximity to the code, even if such claims are properly qualified.
* Do not use the term "recyclable" in proximity to the code.