For over a 15 years, we’ve sold an assortment of reliable, durable and attractive plastic tableware items manufactured by reputable companies. These include plastic dishes and glasses crafted in a number of FDA-reviewed, proven plastics that have been in use for decades.
With media attention on BPA, a component of one widely-used plastic (polycarbonate) — and often stunning misinformation reported about the recycling numbers on some plastic items — we’ve compiled the following to accurately answer any questions you may have about recycling numbers & BPA.
Note! Not only have we dealt with products in every type of plastic mentioned, our lead buyer, Krista Fabregas, worked in the recycling industry. She truly knows the differences between the plastics — and what those pesky numbers really mean. In short, she’s far more knowledgeable than a reporter on a deadline!
So — What do the Numbers 1-7 Found on Some Plastic Items Mean?
Known as SPI Codes, the numbers 1-7, printed within a triangle on the bottom of most single-use and some multi-use plastic bottles and containers, are for the sole purpose of sorting recyclables. In 1988, the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) created this simple numbering system to sort plastics – or more specifically, the resins used to make common plastics – for residential waste recycling.
The #7 is the number many news reports mention — incorrectly — as indicating plastics containing BPA. This is absolutely wrong!
The #7 simply represents a large number of many different types of plastics not commonly recycled. Tried-and-true plastic products, including acrylic glasses, melamine dishes, Tritan and SAN tableware, and polycarbonate, if marked, will display #7 – as do the new, eco-friendly biodegradable bio-plastics.
Of these, only ONE #7 plastic contains BPA — polycarbonate.
Note! Sometimes other numbers appear on the bottom of plastic items. These numbers are for manufacturing purposes and can mean anything — like the number for the mold sleeve, a style number, a production run number, or different factory/production identifiers. A number NOT in a triangle has nothing to do with recycling the item.
In short — the #7 tells nothing about the type of plastic used to make an item. It’s up to product labeling, or the seller knowing their product, to correctly tell if an item is made from polycarbonate or a BPA-free plastic.
Avoiding BPA is Easy if You’re Concerned
All of our plastic tableware and drinkware items clearly list the type of plastic used on the product information, so avoiding BPA is very easy when shopping with us!
Just DON’T buy products made from polycarbonate plastic.
Instead, choose the BPA-Free products made from Acrylic, SAN, Tritan, Polypropylene or Melamine plastics.