It’s crazy to think that only around 9 percent of all plastic produced since 1950 has been recycled. Today, the majority of plastics still end up simply discarded and never repurposed, reprocessed, or reused and only a bit over 20 percent of them actually get recycled.

So, it’s time to act. It’s not just about knowing how to properly dispose of plastics, of which there are many various kinds, but also being conscious of what plastics you consume, i.e. get together with each purchase.

Alan’s Factory Outlet has compiled a nifty infographic detailing the seven types of plastics and what we ought to know about them. In particular, it mentions the abbreviations and markings of each plastic, their recyclability, toxicity, decomposition time, most common uses, and associated health risks.

Alan’s Factory Outlet made an infographic detailing the toxicity, recyclability and other traits of various plastics

Image credits: Promethianfire

The infographic covered a total of seven different plastics that are commonly found in today’s products

Image credits: Promethianfire

This infographic also found its way to Imgur, where people pointed out that some of the toxicity levels included are a bit misleading or over-dramatized. However, keep in mind that the scale is also oversimplified and can simply denote that some plastics are relatively more dangerous than others, and perhaps not as deadly as the red skull might lead you to believe.

But, apart from that, many found it a useful infographic. It was viewed over 126,000 times and got over 3,200 upvotes in a day.

It’s designed to help people make more informed eco-friendly decisions when buying and storing things

Image credits: Promethianfire

Here’s the rundown of each category, starting with #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)

This is the most commonly used plastic in the world. It is mainly used as food or drink packaging because of its great barrier-like characteristics when it comes to keeping air out and carbonation in.

It is also the most commonly recycled plastic that is not recommended to be reused because of the toxins that develop due to repeated use. Higher temperatures may also cause toxins to leach.

Image credits: Promethianfire

#2: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

HDPE is considered one of the safest plastics. It too is one of the most commonly recycled plastics, but unlike PET, it can actually be reused multiple times.

Besides this, it’s a more stable plastic compared to PET as it has a great moisture barrier and excellent chemical resistance. Do keep in mind, though, that if it didn’t originally have food in it (like if it was used to keep cleaning solutions), don’t use it for food or drinks.

Image credits: Promethianfire