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Types of Plastic We Use

We are frequently asked whether or not it is safe to use plastic bottles and containers to hold essential oils. Undiluted essential oils should not be stored in plastic containers, as some properties in many essential oils will break down the plastic, which can destroy the oil and often cause leakage. However, since our plastic bottles and containers are made of the highest grade of plastic, essential oils can be stored in our plastic bottles and containers for several months if the oils are diluted with a carrier oil. The following is information about the types of plastics our bottles and containers are made from.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is commonly used in beverage, food, and other liquid containers. The term polyethylene terephthalate is a source of confusion because this substance, PET, does not contain polyethylene. In scholarly journals it is written as poly(ethylene terephthalate) for the sake of accuracy and clarity. Depending on how it is processed and heated, PET can appear transparent. It is clear, tough, and shatterproof. PET is excellent for any food-related products and is FDA, NSF, and USDA approved for direct contact.

Some common uses include soft drink, water, sports drink, mouthwash, ketchup, and salad dressing bottles; and peanut butter, pickle, jelly, and jam jars.

PET does not contain BPA or any estrogen-like chemicals. It is not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. However, as with many plastic products, if reused multiple times, the chemicals can start to break down over time.

PET is commonly recycled and has the number 1 as its recycling symbol.


High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is a linear polymer that is prepared from ethylene by a catalytic process. HDPE is made without branching, which results in a more closely packed structure with a high density and high chemical resistance. HDPE has excellent resistance to diluted and concentrated acids, alcohols, and bases. It has good resistance to aldehydes, esters, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, and mineral and vegetable oils. It is excellent for any food-related products and is FDA, NSF, and USDA approved for direct contact.

Some common uses include milk, water, and juice bottles; yogurt and margarine tubs; cereal box liners; and grocery, trash, and retail bags. It is also used in bottles for household item such as shampoo, conditioner, detergent, cleaners, etc.

HDPE is not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. However, as with many plastic products, if reused multiple times, the chemicals can start to break down over time.

HDPE is commonly recycled and has the number 2 as its recycling symbol.


Medium-Density Polyethylene (MDPE) is a thermoplastic that is a part of the polyester family. Like HDPE, MDPE is a linear polymer that is prepared from ethylene by a catalytic process. MDPE, however, is less dense and sensitive and has better stress cracking resistance than HDPE. MDPE is made without branching, which results in a more closely packed structure with a high density and high chemical resistance. MDPE has excellent resistance to diluted and concentrated acids, alcohols, and bases. It has good resistance to aldehydes, esters, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, and mineral and vegetable oils. It is excellent for any food-related products and is FDA, NSF, and USDA approved for direct contact.

Some common uses include milk, water, and juice bottles; yogurt and margarine tubs; cereal box liners; and grocery, trash, and retail bags. It is used in bottles for household item such as shampoo, conditioner, detergent, cleaners, etc. It is also used in gas pipes and fittings and screw closures.

MDPE is not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. However, as with many plastic products, if reused multiple times, the chemicals can start to break down over time.

MDPE is commonly recycled and has the number 2 as its recycling symbol.


Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) is a highly versatile thermoplastic that is part of the polyester family and is made from the monomer polyethylene. LDPE is made with a high degree of long and short chain branching, which makes it more ductile, less dense, and allows for greater deformation. It has good resistance to dilute and concentrated acids, alcohols, bases, aldehydes, esters, ketones, and vegetable oils. The FDA, NSF, and USDA have not approved LDPE for direct contact and suggest limiting ingress exposure.

Some common uses include dispensing, wash, and squeeze bottles; plastic bags, heavy duty sacks, liners, and other general packaging; and toys.

LDPE is not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. However, as with many plastic products, if reused multiple times, the chemicals can start to break down over time.

LDPE is commonly recycled and has the number 4 as its recycling symbol.


Polypropylene (PP) is a highly versatile linear hydrocarbon polymer. PP is isotactic and has crystallization levels in between HDPE and LDPE levels, which makes it semi-rigid, tough, less dense, and resistant to chemicals, heat, and fatigue. It has good resistance to dilute acids and alkalis, alcohols, oils, and greases. It is excellent for any food-related products and is FDA, NSF, and USDA approved for direct contact.

Some common uses include packaging and labeling; flip-top bottles, food containers, disposable bottles, coolers, plastic pails, and wastebaskets; ropes, plastic moldings, some yarns, and nonwoven fabrics like diapers and sanitary products; and air, gas, and liquid filters.

PP is not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. However, as with many plastic products, if reused multiple times, the chemicals can start to break down over time.

PP is commonly recycled and has the number 5 as its recycling symbol.


Polystyrene (PS) is an amorphous, glassy polymer that is highly versatile because its good flow properties allow it to conform easily into many shapes. General purpose PP tends to be hard and brittle and has a relatively low melting point. It is inexpensive. It is excellent for any food-related products and is FDA, NSF, and USDA approved for direct contact.

Some common uses include clamshell containers, disposable utensils, toys, and protective packaging and insulation. It is used as a plastic coating for a variety of things like hairdryers, computers, and kitchen appliances.

PS is not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. However, as with many plastic products, if reused multiple times, the chemicals can start to break down over time.

PS is not generally recycled and is slow to biodegrade. It has the number 6 as its recycling symbol.


Phenolics (PF) are highly versatile, synthetic layered sheets that are created with heat and pressure and various materials like paper, cotton, glass, linen, or canvas. The layering process is called polymerization, which binds them into a laminate that cannot be softened. This makes it easy to drill, sand, and machine. PF is often hard, brittle, and inexpensive. It has good resistance to heat, acids, deformation, shock, stress, and electricity. It is often used as an insulator in electrical products.

Some common uses include cotton and synthetic yarn fabrics, laminations, wear strips, and gaskets. It is also used in a lot of mechanical and electrical items like television and radio parts, switch boards, etc.

PF is not generally recycled and is slow to biodegrade.


Acrylic, also known as Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), is a transparent thermoplastic that is often used as a glass substitute and is highly versatile. PMMA is a strong, lightweight, and durable material that has great clarity. It has good resistance to weather, chemicals, and UV light. Products made with PMMA often have additives, fillers, or other modifications so that specific properties can be attained.

Some common uses include residential and commercial aquariums, skylights, rear automobile light casings, spectator protection around hockey rinks, modern furniture pieces, and business signs. PMMA is also used for medical technologies and implants like bone cement, cosmetic surgery, and dentures.

PMMA is not generally recycled and is not biodegradable. It has the number 7 as its recycling symbol.