Understanding Plastic Recycling
Over the past few decades, the use of plastic in manufacturing has increased exponentially. From disposable packaging, like bottles and bags, to durable goods, like watches and appliances, many products that were formerly made of “natural” materials are now made of plastic.
Not all plastic, however, is the same. Each type, or resin, has a unique chemical formula which gives it special properties. In 1988 the plastics industry established identification codes to make separation of different polymers easier and more consistent for recycling.
There are seven different types of plastic resins that are commonly used to package household products. The identification codes listed below can be found stamped on most plastic packaging.
Even though CSWD accepts Plastics #1-7, we still cannot accept plastic bags, filmy plastic of any kind (e.g. shrink wrap and bubble wrap) or Styrofoam. We also cannot accept any plastic that does not meet certain dimensions. All plastics to be recycled in Chittenden County need to be a minimum of 2 inches on any two sides, and a maximum of 2 feet on any one side.
For a complete list of what plastic packaging can be recycled in Chittenden County, see the Recycling List.
Plastic resin codes and what they mean