Plastics general website guide_feb'

Guide to Plastics:
helping you avoid toxic chemicals
POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE: soda bottles, water bottles, peanut butter jars, cook-
ing oil bottles, oven-ready and microwavable meal trays, detergent containers. Other uses in-
AVOID: can leach antimony, which is a suspected carcinogen. Don’t reuse bottles.
HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE: milk, juice and water jugs, detergent bottles, plastic
bags, yogurt cups, shampoo bottles, cereal box liners. Also used in piping, injection moulding,
SAFER: safer plastic for use as food and drink containers.
POLYVINYL CHLORIDE: water bottles, detergent and shampoo containers, cooking oil bot-
tles, mouth wash bottles, take-out containers, plastic wrap, toys, piping, siding, flooring, and
AVOID: can contain and/or leach phthlates, lead, dioxins, bisphenol A, mercury, cadmium.
Associated with carcinogens, hormone disruptors and adverse health effects.
LOW-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE: grocery bags, container lids, plastic wrap, trash bags,
food storage containers, coating for paper milk cartons and hot and cold drink cups, frozen
food packaging, squeezable bottles. Also used in injection moulding, wires and cable covering. SAFER: safer plastic for use as food and drink containers.
POLYPROPYLENE: margarine, yogurt, syrup and other food containers, Rubbermaid, deli and
take-out containers, straws, clouded plastic containers, bottle caps, medicine bottles. Also in
fibers, appliances, automotive parts and carpeting. SAFER: safer plastic for use as food and drink containers.
POLYSTYRENE: disposable cups, plates, bowls and cutlery, take-out containers, yogurt con-
tainers, meat trays, plastic egg cartons, foam food containers, foam packing materials, aspirin
bottles, toys, CD cases. Also used in electronic housings, insulation, coat hangers, and medical products.
AVOID: can leach styrene, a brain and nervous system toxicant, associated with adverse ef-
fects on red blood cells, liver, kidneys and stomach in animal studies. Styrene is also in second-
hand smoke, car exhaust fumes, drinking water and off-gassing of building materials. OTHER: includes anything not found in the preceding numbers, or is a combination of these
resins. Includes POLYCARBONATE plastic made with bisphenol A. Found in 3- and 5-gallon
water bottles, milk jugs, baby bottles and sippy cups, reusable water bottles, citrus juice bottles, the lining of some tin food cans, oven-baking bags, custom packaging, dental sealants, pop cans, and eyewear. Also used in CDs, snowboards, and car parts. AVOID: bisphenol A can leach from polycarbonate plastic, especially when heated.
Bisphenol A is a hormone disruptor, linked to early onset of puberty, obesity,
recurrent miscarriages, decreased sperm production, and is associated with breast For more information visit


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