The Plastic Bottle Material Code System

Recycling has been aided by the creation of the "Plastic Bottle Material Code System". This system is designed to be easy to read at a glance and distinguishable from any other marking on the bottom of a container. Where this system is in place, these symbols are required to appear on all bottles 8 oz. and greater.

The symbol consists of a triangle formed by three "chasing arrows", with a specific number in the center that indicates the material from which the bottle is made. The number/material equivalents are:

  • The number code is then supplemented by the common letter indication for the various resins under the symbol, to serve as a constant verification of the material sorted.
  • It is possible that these symbols may change over time.
  • These symbols may be modified for clarity or supplemented to provide more technically specific information. However, to avoid any confusion among consumers, any changes will be very subtle. Any future symbols will be based on the numbers and letters shown here.