From: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Plastic Container Safety Practices
Date: April 28, 2012 9:13:37 AM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <36475.315ca953.3ccd4700**At_Symbol_Here**>

In a message dated 4/27/2012 10:29:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM writes:   And said in error:

So look for the triangle that indicates biodegradability and you know there is a time limit.  Hopefully, these containers are not used for commercial chemicals.

Oops.  I woke up realizing I made a boo boo. And I know better, too! 

1.  The triangle with arrows means that either the product can be recycled or it is made from recyled materials.

2.  The triangle with the number in it identifies the type of plastic and only these are likely to be actually accepted for recyclying in most states.

Unlike the EU that has a nice symbol for bio degradable and photodegradable plastics (see EN 13432 and 14995), the US still has a confusing mishmash of labels  overlaid by symbols created by a host of private certifiers whose motives and source of income must be considered before you believe them.

The best quick read on the official symbols and label terms is at

The bottom line is that all plastics degrade with time.  The question we were asked is "how soon?"   The answer is "who knows?"


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