Plastic Bottles-What Do Those Letters And Numbers Mean

Plastic Bottles-What Do Those Letters And Numbers Mean

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Plastic bottles, what do all those letters and numbers mean on the bottles or other plastic containers? I want to know if they are safe or not. I did a little research to see what ALL the numbers on the different plastic/and or plastic type bottles mean. I want to make sure we are all storing our WATER in the best type of container. This is what I found, look on the bottom of your water storage containers, water bottles, sippy cups, etc. See if you can see the triangle and the number. I am just making you aware of the issues concerning the different numbers. I still buy plastic containers. But I am careful what I use to store my food within the refrigerator. I have a stainless steel water jug I refill with water several times a day. Please note I STILL use plastic…..

Sometimes I see so many people carrying plastic water bottles and it reminds me of the landfill issues. I am put off by the clear plastic containers filled with yellow stuff on the side of the road. Yes, I’m assuming it is pee. I suspect it’s not Mountain Dew or the bottle would still have the label on it. Once when I was at a local grocery store I wanted to see if the big blue barrels had the triangle with the #2…yes they did. I turned it upside down to look at it. It’s who I am.

I purchased the WaterBricks because they have the triangle with the #2 embossed on them. Most water containers by law now have to have the #2 triangle on them, as far as I know. Here are the ones I bought: WaterBrick 1833-0001 Stackable Water and Food Storage Container, 3.5 gal of Liquid, 27 lb of Dry Food Products, Blue

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Plastic Bottles #1 in a triangle:

PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate) AVOID

Common Uses: Soda Bottles, Water Bottles, mineral water, fruit juice and oil containers

Can leach antimony & phthalates

Plastic Bottles #2 in a triangle:

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) SAFER

Common Uses: Milk jugs, yogurt cups, cleaning agents, detergents, shampoo, washing soaps and plastic food trays

This is the best type container for long term water storage, in my opinion.

Plastic Bottles #3 in a triangle:

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) AVOID

Common uses: condiment bottles, plastic wrap, teething rings, shower curtains, some toys and used to wrap some food items

Can leach lead and other chemicals……

Plastic Bottles #4 in a triangle:

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) SAFER

Common uses: Food storage containers, plastic produce bags, etc.

Plastic Bottles #5 in a triangle:

PP (Polypropylene) SAFER

Common uses: Bottle caps, dishware, furniture, luggage, car bumpers and liners

Plastic Bottles #6 in a triangle:

PS (Polystyrene/styrofoam) AVOID

Common uses: Meat trays, foam cups & containers, toys, hard packing materials, refrigerator trays, cosmetic bags, costume jewelry, CD cases and vending cups.

Plastic Bottles #7 in a triangle:

Other-this is a catch all category AVOID

BPA-leaches Bisphenol-A (BPA). ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). Other plastics, including acrylic, fiberglass and polycarbonate.

The plastic containers I use for my freeze dried and dehydrated food have the triangle with #7 in them. My everyday glasses I drink in every day are made of polycarbonate. Here’s the deal, I have adults, kids and grandkids that drop things. Glass cups would not cut it in my house, they would have been replaced at least ten times by now. I can only do what my budget allows. I have had these polycarbonate plastic cups for ten years or more. My cups don’t store the liquid for long periods, so I hope my family is ok still using this cup material.

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If you think about our grandparents used glass mason jars….imagine that. Glass quart jars, gallon jars, and pint jars. Remember the pickles in the big glass gallon jars? I remember using the glass jars that the canned meat came in as glassware. Did you grow up with those metal aluminum cups? Those felt like chalk being scratched on a chalkboard, but on my teeth.

I am not a scientist or great typist of huge scientific wording so….I will leave you with this information. I hope this helps! Even with my bifocals, I was having trouble reading some of those. LOL! As always, please do your own research to make sure you are using what is right for your family.

Keep Water Safe: Keep Water Safe by Food Storage Moms.

Pressure cooker tip by Linda


  1. I know nothing about the plastic bottles so this article contains so interesting information! Thanks a lot for sharing it with us! Storage Hanworth Ltd.

  2. Illini Warrior says:

    Doesn’t matter if the container has a recycle triangle #2 or any other recycle symbol – food and potable water needs to have a FOOD GRADE container …. and not all #2s are manufactured under FDA standards pertaining to food containers ….

    check the petroleum and pesticide containers in your garage and garden shed – contaminated #2s that can be recycled back into more containers ….

    BUT NEVER FOOD GRADE – the FDA requires pure virgin plastics (no recycled) for food grade containers …

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