Look at the bottom of your water bottle, do you see a number?

Created by:

10 Aug 2016 - General


They are resin identification codes and here are what they mean! :)

#1 PET/PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

­    Usually clear and commonly used in water bottles and soda bottles. Safe for single use but repeated use allows bacteria to accumulate. PET water bottles left in a hot car or exposed to heat leak antimony in very little amounts, and a study in UK confirms that antimony leakage from PET into beverages due to time and temperature changes reaches approximately 1% of the current tolerable daily intake (TDI) established by World Health Organisation (WHO). So in theory it is still okay to drink them.

#2 HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)

­    Typically opaque and considered safe and has a lower risk of leaching. It is NEVER safe to reuse an HDPE bottle as a food or drink container if it didn’t originally contain food or drink. Used in milk jugs, household cleaner containers, cereal box liners, detergent bottles, motor oil bottles, yogurt tubs, and butter tubs, detergent bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs and toiletries bottles.

#3 Vinyl or Polyvinyl (PCV)

­    Used to make food wraps, detergent containers and commonly on plumbing pipes, window profile, shampoo bottles and even used as specimen containers and other medical devices.  May leach out phthalates which act as binding agents and makes plastic flexible. Exposure to this chemical has been linked to an array of diseases, from congenital defects, diabetes, 3. May also contain DHEA which can be carcinogenic. Do not cook with this plastic or heat food with this wrap. Do not reuse as food container.

#4 LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)

­    Used to make toys, food wrap, carrier bags, squeeze bottles, high frequency inculation, chemical tank linings, gas and water pipes to name some.  

#5 PP (Polypropylene)

­    Safer Plastic to use for food containers. Used in ketchup bottles, yogurt cups, medicine bottles, etc.

 #6  PS (Polystyrene)

­    Styrofoam, which is used for disposable cups, plates, egg carton disc cases, etc. FDA has considered It safe to use in contact with food.

#7 Others

­    Other plastic resin that does not belong to the first 6 categories. Their use range from nylon, computer cases, large water containers to bulletproof materials and sunglasses.


The Plastics to avoid on food consumption are 3,6 and 7 while those that are considered relatively safe are 2,4 and 5. One is good for one time use only.








6. Old school notes

I have noticed these numbers surrounded by three arrows before but always thought that it was for recycling campaign haha Thank you for sharing this information Leothel Elysse Mayores This has been very helpful especially knowing that HDPE should never be re-used. I'll also take note of phthalate-containing vinyl that is potentially harmful. This is a very concise article that shows what chemicals can leech w...
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Great information! Well, I'm sure we've all had some of those times when we just had to reuse a water bottle out of necessity or laziness (or really, lack of time). Upon reading this, I actually began reaching for any of the plastic containers nearby and checking out the numbers at the bottom. I am going to check on our bottles around the house too, as I’m sure there are a lot of number 1’s that need recycling but instead are being reused. I’m also curious about the numbers at the bottom...
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sorry, i forgot to specify what it was in my previous post. It is a glass bottle Leothel Elysse Mayores so I think it should be alright reusing it. I still have a lot of searching to do. and Jennifer Winter you do have plenty of time in your hands and able to do it all already. Like you said Jen, Filipinos are known for recycling ...
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Jennifer Winter Haha, glad you did it in the morning! I figured I'd go take a look on some of the bottles we have at home. I have a lot of #1! Lots and lots of them. I guess I should collect the now and give them up for recycling. #2s are shampoo and conditioner bottles as well as our bottle for soy sauce and vinegar. Some water bottles and Tupperware are #5. I microwaved one #5 container and some parts were ...
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Ok since I didn't want to be the crazy person searching for plastic bottles around the house at 1am I did this earlier today. I found 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7. I think it my fascination for research or my recent addiction to Pokemon Go that made me find them but none the less here is the list. My number 1 bottles were Canola oil, Milk Almond Chocolates, Cranberry Juice and Rubbing Alcohol. These are the one time use containers as stated above. I don't know how you all are in other countries but...
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Thank you for this post. I just normally check the number of times a bottle can be recycled at the bottom of my water bottle as somebody has shared me that information years ago. But now, I would definitely be checking the plastic containers we have in the house especially the microwaveable plastic containers that I use as my lunchbox. Recently, we started purchasing a bottle which originally contains juice/ flavoured drink and once we consume it all, we reuse it as a water container. I think i...
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This article is pretty timely as Theekshana Abayawickrama and I were discussing this on Alan Rosmadi's topic on heating food using a microwave. I am tempted to go look at all the plastic bottles in the house and search for those numbers. Maybe tomorrow hehe. I am guilty though as well to reuse one use water bottles. It is conve...
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Theekshana Abayawickrama Yup! the concern would be bacterial accumulation. There were some claims in the past that antimony and DEHA may leak out if PET was left in hot cars, but it was cleared by by the American Cancer society that The amount of antimony and DEHA are within the guidelines established by WHO for safe water drinking. Some water bottles used for longer periods are usually #5 (polysterene). But ofcou...
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Tarah Cadiz Haha that's funny. I bet you did not spit it out, and you still have that bottle with you filled with water! :D We all do have that laziness, and even at times when we are very well aware of the harmful aspects of somethings, we still continue to do it, mainly because we have very little time to worry about small things, and partly because we sometimes just don't care. I also had just drank wa...
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Ah! Jennifer Winter and I recently had a discussion on the safety of plastic bottles and this coding system, but I did not really know all these information. Thank you for the article. It is very comprehensive and descriptive. So according to this Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), what water and drink bottles are made of are meant to be used only once. I think those are the bottles that are mostly reused to carr...
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