How to identify whether cosmetic packaging is recyclable?

When it comes to buying beauty and skin care products, will the packaging of the products affect your decision? I’m crazy about beautiful packaging. When I was young, I bought a lot of products because they looked so tempting and irresistible. As I grew older, I became less interested in beautiful bottles and more focused on whether they could be recycled.

Nowadays, garbage sorting is compulsory in many places, but some materials are not recyclable, or some materials are often rejected by recycling stations because they are difficult to recycle or the cost of recycling is too high. Therefore, it is important to choose environmental protection packaging as much as possible.

Sustainable Cosmetics Packaging
Sustainable Cosmetics Packaging

So, how to distinguish environmental protection packaging? Here is a quick guide to help you.

Decryption of plastic recycling label

There is a strange mark on the plastic package. It consists of numbers surrounded by three arrows, ranging from 1 to 7. The numbers indicate the type of plastic used to make the container. Sometimes the abbreviation for plastic can be found under the label (for example, pet stands for polyethylene terephthalate). If you don’t understand what they mean it’s useless, here’s a quick guide:

  1. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or pet, polyethylene terephthalate)

Cheap, lightweight and easy to recycle, this type of plastic is mainly used as containers for mouthwash, water, soft drinks and moisturizers. It can be recycled for other things, such as food and beverage containers, carpets, handbags and furniture.

  1. High density polyethylene (HDPE)

This is a widely used recyclable plastic, HDPE can be used as shampoo, detergent bottles, cereal boxes and shopping bags. It can be recycled into dustbins, household cleaning containers, benches, pens and many other things.

  1. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

A hard plastic used as a household container for shampoo, detergents, cooking oil, windows, medical equipment, and railings. It can be recycled, but because it contains chlorine, it will release toxic gas when burning, so the recovery process is difficult.

  1. Low density polyethylene (LDPE)

A soft, versatile plastic, LDPE is used to make extruded bottles, toys, furniture and clothing. It can be recycled into air mail envelopes, furniture, flooring and many other things.

  1. Polypropylene (PP)

Because of its high melting point, polypropylene can be used to hold containers for liquids and foods that can be heated, such as takeout boxes, but it can also be used to make medicine bottles, straws and syrup bottles. It can also be recycled and used on many things, including lockers, brushes, ice scrapers and pallets.

  1. Polystyrene (PS, polystyrene)

When polystyrene is used to make foam products, it is called polystyrene foam (Styrofoam). It can be used as packing boxes for eggs, disposable dishes, furniture and electrical appliances. It’s hard to recycle, so many recycle bins refuse to receive it. If recovered, it can be reused to make electric switch boards, foam packaging and rulers.

  1. Others

All other types of plastic resins are represented by the number 7. It can be used in sunglasses, DVDs, water bottles and some food containers. Not all of them can be recycled, but if they can be recycled, they can be made into long plastic profiles and bottles.

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