Confused by #7 Plastics?

Located on the bottom of plastic bottles is a number that signifies what type of plastic you are drinking out of. The numbers one through six relate to a specific resin (number 1 for polyethylene terephthalate, number 2 for high-density polyethylene, and so on). Number 7, however, classifies the plastic in a “miscellaneous” category that includes any plastic resin invented after 1987.

Many people steer away from plastic branded with“#7” for fear that it is polycarbonate, made with bisphenol A (BPA), the hormone-disrupting chemical linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Because number 7 plastic bottles have this vast “miscellaneous” category, polycarbonate, newer BPA-free plastics and corn- and sugar-based plastics are in the same group. Only polycarbonate plastics are associated with the mentioned health risks.

To ensure you are drinking out of a #7 plastic that is BPA-free, call the retailer or manufacturer to learn what type of resin is in that plastic. A product like Nalgene’s, a #7 BPA-free plastic, is made from a copolyster plastic based on polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. This plastic is also used in water and soda bottles. The simplest way to avoid any discrepancies is to hydrate yourself with an aluminum lined product, such as Sigg water bottles, or stainless steel bottles because they do not contain lead.


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