On the Wikipedia page, polylactic acid is listed as a resin under #7, and that’s what I recognize as “compostable plastic.” But they may have created the number, and just not put the info where Google can find it – but that’s not very likely to me.
"The full committee at ASTM International Inc. charged with approving any new plastics industry resin identification code is currently voting on eight proposals that passed out of the subcommittee in the first vote.
The proposals under consideration include adding code 8 for polycarbonate and code 9 for linear low density polyethylene."
OTOH, it’s only a proposal. Polycarbonate makes for strong, durable food storage containers, but I thought it was pretty rare for disposables, as it’s pretty costly. Beer cups and disposable utensils, though, are often PC; if a clear clamshell takeout box isn’t #1 (PET), I guess it’s probably PC.
I asked my sister. She’s an ISO coordinator for a plastics company. She forwarded me an picture with plastic recycling symbols and their meanings. 1-6 are specific, 7 is other, and as she said, “we don’t got no 8”.
The revision date on this was from 2/2010 so if it has changed since then, no one has told her about it.
edit to add: She just sent me this: 8. Recycling Symbol for Generic Materials (often used with annotations or labels indicating specific material.
well, just today i came across #8, with recycle symbol, on a disposable tea cup. I have been watching the quality of these cups in my company, and always thought it does not look good enough to hold a hot beverage. Today I noticed the number 8.
My first guess was (being in India), the cup supplier is making fool out of people by just putting a random number on a low quality material, since there are no strict checks on manufacturing standards here. He couldn’t have used numbers 1-6, since there are directives to manufacture those. Number 7 could have taken care of it actually, but number 8 doesn’t make sense.
Then I found this forum, and googled for ‘congodwarf’ comment: “8. Recycling Symbol for Generic Materials”. It seems, Symbol for generic material with description is ok, but no where they mentioned it is with number 8. It says symbol alone is used.
Wiki, however, states that number 8 actually belongs to Lead-acid battery recyling (without the symbol though): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling_codes
Well, this doesn’t make much sense, obviously it has nothing to do with plastic recycling.
Anyway, I am planning to confront my cafeteria manager to provide explanation, or find out from the cup supplier about this number 8, otherwise use recyclable paper cups, made for hot beverages.
Please post any new information if you guys have on #8…