Plastic Bottles Symbol Change – Triangle Replaces Chasing Arrows


Most plastic bottles and jars have a resin identification code (or IRC) to help identify what plastic resin was used during manufacture. Product makers and packaging professionals commonly use this identification code during their procurement process to determine product compatibility while municipalities, scrap brokers, and consumers use these identification codes to sort waste for recycling processes.

How the symbol came about

IRC standard was first developed by the Society of the Plastic Industry (SPI) in 1988 to fulfill recyclers and manufacturers call for a consistent and uniform coding system worldwide. Current standards consists of a chasing arrows in triangular shape with resin number (1 – 7) within the triangle, and the name of the resin was printed underneath.

As recycling awareness continues to grow, many have associated the current chasing arrow as a recycling symbol. This often created confusion at the consumer level as many products made of recycled materials carries the same chasing arrow symbol. To re-align IRC’s core mission of resin content identification and quality control prior to recycling, the new resin identification code will consist of a solid equilateral triangle around the number with resin name printed underneath.

New Plastic Resin Identification Codes
New Plastic Resin Identification Codes

What does it mean to you

The new resin symbols does not change how products are manufactured, and they do not change how they are / can be recycled. The committee is continuing its efforts to evaluate how different type of plastics are identified, so don’t be surprised to see new resin identification code (beyond 7) begin to surface, particularly those currently labeled as 7 (or OTHER) today.

If you want more information on different plastic resins and their properties, click here.

At BottleStore, we carry a wide variety of plastic bottles and jars, click below to browse through our plastic bottles and jars catalog:


Jonathan @ BottleStore
Jonathan @ BottleStore
Jonathan is the Online Marketing Manger of BottleStore and it's parent - The O.Berk Company. In addition to making BottleStore work and run smoothly, Jonathan also enjoys passing on packaging knowledge to help solve customer pain points. He is the chief architect of Packaging Crash Course - a packaging resource hub for rigid glass and plastic packaging site.


1 thought on “Plastic Bottles Symbol Change – Triangle Replaces Chasing Arrows”

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