When buying bottled water in plastic, experts recommend to check the bottom of the bottle, in order to protect your health. Namely, plastic bottles are marked with the letters PETE, HDPE, PP, and a few others. These markings indicate the type of materials used in producing the bottles, how safe the plastic is and the levels of its degradability.

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Each bottled brand of water must have a letter marking, in order to help the consumers identify if toxic chemicals have been used in the production of the bottles. Learn what each plastic recycling symbol means.

The Meaning Of The Recycling Symbols On Plastic Bottles. Need To Know Facts When Buying Bottled Water.

The recycling symbols on plastic bottles, in numbers, range from 1 to 7. When expressed in letters, the markings are as follows: PETE, HDPE, V, LDPE, PP, PS and OTHER.

Plastic #1 or Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE, Or PET)

#1 or PETE stands for single use plastic bottles. These bottles allow bacteria accumulation and can potentially release heavy metals and chemicals, which affect the hormonal balance. PETE bottles are usually used for water, soft drinks, salad dressings, peanut butter and mouthwash liquids. Do not reuse these bottles.

Plastic #2 or High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

#2 or HDPE plastic practically does not release any chemicals. When purchasing bottled water, food experts advise selecting these bottles, as they contain one of the healthiest waters on the market. The plastic used for the production of these bottles is considered to be safe and with a low risk of leaching. It’s commonly used for water, juices, yogurt, cereals, detergents, motor oils, etc.

Plastic #3 Or Polyvinyl Chloride, Or Simply Just Vinyl (PVC, Or V)

#3 or PVC bottles release toxic chemicals, that can affect the hormones in the human body. Avoid heating up these bottles, as they can release phthalates into the liquid and food that they contain. Phthalates are chemicals known to cause health problems, ranging from miscarriages to developmental problems. PVC is usually used to make detergent bottles, food wrap foil, cooking oil bottles and medical equipment.

Plastic #4 Or Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

#4 or LDPE is a plastic that cannot be used in the manufacturing of bottled water, even though it does not release any chemicals. It’s usually used to make shopping bags, carpets, clothing, bread bags and food wrap foil.

Plastic #5 Or Polypropylene (PP)

#5 or PP is a white, or semi-transparent plastic, used for the packaging of syrups, medicines and yogurts. It is considered to be a safe plastic.

Plastic #6 Or Polystyrene (PS)

#6 or PS releases some carcinogenic substances, posing certain health risks. It is difficult for recycling and bad for the environment. PS is commonly used in the production of coffee cups and fast food plates, egg cartons and meat trays.

Plastic #7 Or Miscellaneous, Other

All plastics that do not fit in the previous categories fall under #7. Most of the plastics found in this category contain BPA, or bisphenol-A, which is a toxic compound commonly linked to hormonal imbalance, infertility, reproductive problems, hyperactivity and other health problems. These plastics are commonly used in the production of large water bottles (5-gallons), computer and phone cases, sunglasses, etc.

Knowing the above, it is recommendable to always check the markings of bottled water.