Plastic Labeling System Often Confused for Recyclability of Plastic Products

TerraCycle Tom-Blog
Have you ever noticed on the bottom of a plastic product one of these 7 symbols? It's a number inside a recycling logo. In seeing a label like this you might have thought, "Oh isn't it nice this product is recyclable..." I’m sorry to inform you that if you had that reaction, you, like most people who see that symbol and number, would be mistaken in your assumption. These labels have nothing to do with the recyclable nature of the plastic. Instead, the label has been used as an international standard to identify what type of plastic is used - called the "PIC." The PIC was introduced by the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. to provide a uniform system for the identification of different polymer types. This becomes clear when you see #7 - "OTHER”: In “other” words, you put this logo on it to represent all other forms of plastic not represented in the first 6 categories, independent of whether it is recyclable or not.