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Plastics Identification Code

The Plastics Identification Code continues to be one of the most successful and enduring Product Stewardship programs run by industry. The simple, effective "1 to 7" numbering system identifies the resin composition of plastic containers (and other items intended for recycling). This voluntary coding system has been a key element in the successful collection, recovery and management of used plastics in Australia.

The coding system was launched in 1988 by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in the United States and was introduced to Australia in 1990. In 2001, PACIA recognised that the guidance material for using the symbols needed updating to meet the changing needs of the marketplace and a review of the Plastics Coding System was undertaken with funding from EcoRecycle.

Following this review, the Code of Practice has been revised as part of our commitment to the National Packaging Covenant, and we gratefully acknowledge a grant from EcoRecycle Victoria as well as sponsorship from Basell Australia in completing the project. The revised Code of Practice was launched to industry at the PACIA National Conference 2003 in Sydney.

This revised Code of Practice contains practical advice about the use of the coding symbols and reinforces the ongoing commitment of the plastics industry to Sustainability, Risk Management and Product Stewardship.

Hard copies of the explanatory Code of Practice are available free to PACIA members and at a cost of $10 for non-members.


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