The recycling number identifies what type of material that object is made out of. During recycling, one cannot simply throw everything together and apply the same recycling process. The number helps recyclers sort the items and put them through the proper recycling process.
“Resin identification codes” or the little recycle symbols with numbers in them, are intended help identify the type of plastic it is, from its chemical compound to its use. It also helps consumers and waste management plants understand how to recycle them. In addition, it indicates the likelihood of certain chemicals within the plastic. Some plastics have harmful chemicals like BPA — if you find the number on the plastic, and compare it with the chart in the link I’ve provided, you can find out what chemicals are within.
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