Foam Equipment's Blog

What Do Recycling Symbols on Plastics Mean? (Part 1)

Posted by Doug Malawey

Feb 26, 2010 11:24:00 AM

Number 6 Plastics

recycling symbol #6PS (polystyrene)

Found in: Disposable plates and cups, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers, aspirin bottles, compact disc cases and in the foamed or expanded form as packaging, EPS or expanded polystyrene
Recycling: Number 6 plastics can be recycled through some curbside programs and the number of recycling centers that are accepting the foamed version, (EPS) is continuing to grow.
Recycled into: Insulation, light switch plates, vents, rulers, foam packing, carry-out containers, chair rails and crown moldings and picture frames

Polystyrene can be made into rigid products (PS-polystyrene), or foam products (EPS-expandable polystyrene)- in the latter case it is often incorrectly referred to as Styrofoam.  (See "What is Styrofoam") blog entry.  While many places still don't accept it, it is gradually gaining traction as more and more people are becoming aware that it is indeed a valuable recyclable material, and easy to do so with the right equipment.  Just look for the symbol show above on the product to determine if it is PS, EPS, or a different category of plastic all together.

This information is reprinted in part with permission and is ©1986-2010 by IDES

Topics: Recycling codes, types of plastic, recycling numbers, recycling symbols