The numbers chasing the arrow recycling symbol on plastics are tricky because they can mean different things.
The Federal Trade Commission requires that a product have at least 60% access to local programs (like Material Recovery Facility processing) across the U.S. to include the Mobius on their products. However, the Mobius is not a reliable indicator of whether something actually is accepted locally as recyclable.
The number on plastics only indicates the primary plastic ingredient in the recipe. There are thousands of plastic products and packaging, and each one has its own unique chemical recipe. Many of these combinations cannot be recycled into new products at this time.
One of the easiest methods to recycle plastics is to go by shape. If it’s not one of these shapes: bottles, jars, jugs, and tubs, it’s probably not accepted in your curbside recycling container. You can also visit Recycle Right to find answers to your common recycling questions.