Discover the difference between the various plastics

Pixabay’s photo.      It is the type of plastic that is used in water bottles or sodas and must only be used once.

PET or PETE (1)

Plastic containers bearing the letters PET or PETE (number 1) are made of polyethylene terephthalate, a shiny transparent plastic, with or without color, resistant and with good impermeability for gases and humidity. This type of packaging must not be used more than once because even though it is relatively safe, it can release heavy metals such as antimony and chemicals that are able to interfere with our hormonal system.
It is used in water bottles, sodas, packaging of detergents and hygiene products, among others. If you are one of those people who reuse the plastic bottle with water be careful: you risk inserting chemical or bacterial poisons because this type of plastic is difficult to clean and decontaminate.

Frank Habel’s photo in Pixabay.      These types of plastics are commonly used to make packaging of hygiene products and detergents.

HDPE (2)

Plastics with the inscription HDP or HDPE (number 2), high-density polyethylene, do not contain BPA and do not release any chemicals, according to experts. It is a rigid or flexible plastic, very resistant to chemicals and moisture. They are used to make the packaging of hygiene products, detergents, supermarket bags, lids, yogurt, milk, etc. It is also considered a relatively safe plastic for the Human Being.

Wolfgang Ecker’s photo in Pixabay.     PVC is used to make tubes, pack toys or make bottles of water and its composition can release toxic chemicals that affect the hormonal system.

PVC (3)

Plastics that have the acronyms PVC (number 3), polyvinyl chloride, release toxic chemicals that can affect the hormonal system. Its use has been declining, but it can be found to pack toys, bottle cleaning products or oil for cooking, for making bottled water, hoses, lining cables, pipes, among others. This type of plastic contains: vinyl chloride, a compound classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a carcinogenic potential for the Human Being; BPA and Phthalates (chemical compounds derived from phthalic acid, which are also potentially carcinogenic and may cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lung and affect the reproductive system). This type of plastic should not be used for storing food or to be used in the kitchen.

Free-Photos’s photo in Pixabay.     LDPE plastic is used to make films to pack clothes or food.

LDPE (4)

If you see the LDPE symbol (number 4), it is low-density polyethylene. This type of plastic is tough, light, and very flexible can be transparent, with or without color, and with or without glare. It is used in bags and films to wrap pallets, for example, food or a set of water bottles and may also serve to manufacture the known plastic cups. It is a relatively safe type of plastic for the Human Being.

Artur Konik’s photo in Pixabay.     PP is a plastic used to make disposable caps or diapers.

PP (5)

PP plastics (number 5), made of polypropylene, are versatile and have great resistance to moisture, heat, chemicals, oils or fats. It is used in the manufacture of margarine packaging, yogurts, disposable diapers, medicines, lids, bags of fried potatoes or containers for storing food, among others. It’s a relatively safe type of plastic.

Dennis’ photo in Pixabay.      Plastic cutlery is made from a polystyrene-based plastic type that contains potentially toxic and carcinogenic products.

PS (6)

The plastic with the symbol PS (number 6), is polystyrene, is versatile, very resistant, rigid and usually opaque. This type of packaging contains styrene, a toxic compound that can affect the nervous system of the human being and is still potentially carcinogenic according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We can find this type of plastic in disposable cups and cutlery, medicines, in yogurts or boxes of eggs, among others. This type of plastic must not be used to store food or to be used in the kitchen.

Pexels’ photo.       PC plastics contain BPA and other chemical components that are harmful to the Human Being.

PC (7)

This is the type of plastic that must be released immediately, as it releases Bisphenol A, Phthalates among other toxic substances. In practice, they contain carcinogenic products and can cause changes in the hormonal system. It can be found in tires, nautical and sports accessories, household appliances, slippers, in a water bottle or food containers. This type of plastic must not be used to store food or to be used in the kitchen.

Plastics are in our life but it’s up to us to choose whether we want to continue to use them. Alternatively, there are other containers such as glass or ceramics. Consciousness is in each of us.


Feel more about plastics in:

Recognize a plastic with ‘Bisphenol A’ and protect your life


Reinforce your awareness in: