Plastics for Water Storage

"Use only food-grade containers" for storing water. (All is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, © 2007)

Understanding Plastics & Their Codes:

Codes used on various plastic products

The codes (numbers and letters shown with the chasing-arrows "recycling" symbol) which are found on the bottom of plastic bottles, other containers, and shopping bags, mean the following:

  • #1 PETE or PET (polyethylene terephthalate): used for most clear beverage bottles. (This is the safest plastic to use for water storage.)

  • #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene): used for "cloudy" milk and water jugs, opaque food bottles. (The Church counsels against using milk jugs for water storage: "Do not use plastic milk jugs, because they do not seal well and tend to become brittle over time.")

  • #3 PVC or V (polyvinyl chloride): used in some cling wraps (especially commercial brands), some "soft" bottles.

  • #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene): used in food storage bags and some "soft" bottles.

  • #5 PP (polypropylene): used in rigid containers, including some baby bottles, and some cups and bowls.

  • #6 PS (polystyrene): used in foam "clam-shell"-type containers, meat and bakery trays, and in its rigid form, clear take-out containers, some plastic cutlery and cups.

  • #7 Other (usually polycarbonate): used in 5-gallon water bottles, some baby bottles, some metal can linings.

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