High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is the most common household plastic around, used to make beverage bottles, butter containers, cereal box liners and thicker food storage buckets. Recycled HDPE is reviewed by the FDA on a case-by-case basis, as it can sometimes become unsafe in the recycling process.
Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE is similar to HDPE, but tends to be less rigid, making it perfect for squeeze bottles or plastic film like cling wrap, six-pack rings and more. It is chemically resistant, repels microorganisms and doesn't leach harmful toxins when used to store food at a variety of temperatures. However, it is not deemed safe for food contact in a recycled state.
While there are concerns about bisphenol A (BPA) present in polycarbonate resin, the FDA has conducted numerous studies and concluded that the intake of BPA from plastic is very low and has no apparent negative effects on physical health. There are also specific FDA approved polycarbonate sheets available for all sorts of food applications, from hospital trays to water bottles.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
Any plastic jars and beverage containers in your home are most likely made from PET. This material is used in 2-liter soda bottles, peanut butter jars, salad dressing containers and more. While many plastics are only FDA compliant and food safe in their virgin (or unrecycled) state, recycled PET is an FDA approved plastic for food contact. It also repels microorganisms and doesn't corrode, making it an overall ideal material for food and beverage contact and storage.
Polypropylene is most often used for single-serve containers like yogurt cups, but also shows up in reusable containers that can store leftovers. On top of being one of the FDA approved food contact materials, it's microwave safe and nonvolatile, meaning it will not react with any type of food you store in it, whether it's acidic, basic or liquid.