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

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.

Read More of My Articles  Best Organic Food Storage You Can Buy

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

11 thoughts on “Plastic Bottles-What Do Those Letters And Numbers Mean

  • March 20, 2015 at 9:14 am

    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.

    • March 20, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Hi Shelly, I am so glad you liked the information. I learn something new everyday myself! Linda

  • March 21, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    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 …

    • March 21, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks for the tips, I really want this article to help people be aware of what they are putting their food and water in. Thanks so much, Linda

  • December 29, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I have been wondering what is meant by the symbol on the “Smartwater” bottle as it says “plant grade?” It is by COCA-COLA So could mean what ever they want us to believe.

    • December 30, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      OH my gosh, the next time I go to the grocery store I will look at one of those Coca-Cola Bottles! Interesting, I agree with you it could mean anything! Linda

  • August 14, 2019 at 9:22 am

    We bought water bottles at WalMart yesterday with only the symbol D on the bottom along with BPA Free. What does the D mean?

    • August 14, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Hi Carolyn, that’s a good question. I have never heard of a D on the bottom of bottles. Linda

      • August 14, 2019 at 11:49 am

        Nor have I. THere is no triangle with a number in it. Bottles are made in China. Makes me wonder.

  • August 27, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    The Smartwater bottle symbol “plant grade,” means that the bottle is partially made from plants. The Smartwater bottle is the first bottle that is completely recyclable.

    • August 27, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Richard, wow, that’s awesome! Thanks for passing on that information! Linda


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