Food Grade Plastic (Safe For Containers, Bucket Storage, Water)

Food Safe Plastics

Food grade plastic is the only type which should come in contact with food or drink for human consumption.

Here’s how to tell if it’s safe:

Look for the Recycle symbol. Usually stamped on the bottom of the container. Read the number located inside the symbol.

Here’s a cross-reference list. Recycle number (recycling symbol) versus what is generally considered food grade plastic (or not safe!).

Food Grade Plastic Considered Safe

#1, #2, #4, #5 are generally food safe plastic. Here’s more:

#1 PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)

Plastic Water Bottles & Soft Drink Containers

Water, soda, and juice bottles are typically made of #1 PETE. Though be aware that they are not designed for reuse.

#2 HDPE (high density polyethylene)

Plastic milk jugs are a common use for food-safe #2 plastic.

Another use is for food grade storage buckets. However it’s worth noting that not all #2 HDPE buckets are apparently food grade. Read below for more on food grade buckets… ,

#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene)

#4 LDPE is a lightweight plastic. It’s commonly used for shopping bags / grocery store plastic bags. Also the waterproof inner/outer layer for some juice and milk cartons.

#5 PP (polypropylene)

Polypropylene is a very strong durable plastic. It has a high melting point making it ideal for hot-fill liquids. Plastic cups, baby bottles, kitchenware, microwave plastic containers are some of the common uses.

Highly Rated BPA-Free water bottle:
>> CamelBak BPA-Free Water Bottle
(view on amzn)

Risky Plastics Not Safe for Food and Drink

These plastics may leach or have hazardous ingredients:

#3 PVC  (polyvinyl chloride) carcinogens during manufacture and incineration

#6 PS  (polystyrene) possible carcinogen

#7 PC (usually polycarbonate, sometimes labeled PC)  may leach BPA (Bisphenol-A)

Food Grade Buckets

The common 5 gallon bucket. They’re made of #2 HDPE.

If the bucket is considered ‘food grade’ it is typically marketed as such and labeled “Food Grade”, “Food Safe”, etc. Look for the label.

Some food grade buckets or containers will include a cup & fork symbol as an indicator.

A food-grade bucket or container might also be specifically marked as USDA approved (or FDA or NSF approved).

If you will be storing food directly in a plastic bucket or container, or if you will be using the container for drinking water, you might verify the material is food-safe before you purchase.

*Read further notes below.


The typical ‘blue’ water storage containers or water barrels are also made of high density polyethylene #2 HDPE and are marketed as food safe.

Safe water storage:

>> 5 Gallon Samson Stackers, 6 Pack (30 Gallons)
(view on amzn)

Water Storage 30 gallons


Buckets that are not food grade may out-gas and leach into the container, as well as into the contents held within the container.

This is what I’ve read about it:

#2 HDPE buckets that are not food grade may have been manufactured with a non-food-grade “mold release agent”.

In some processes, a mold release agent is what is used to help get the newly shaped plastic off of the hard mold that it was shaped from during the manufacturing process. Without the release agent, the new plastic shape will likely stick to the mold. Some mold release agents enable much faster production than others, but may be toxic to your health if later used with food.

Apparently other processes do not use a mold release agent and only use high pressure compressed air to blow the bottles into shape on the inside. No mold release agent of any kind is used inside the bottles of this process.

If you are unsure, you might simply contact the supplier or manufacturer to confirm.

[ Read: Survival Water Storage ]


  1. Okay, now you know I have to say something. First of all, I don’t consider any plastics safe for food. I have plastic containers that were made about 30+ years ago and they are no longer considered safe for food, and these containers were originally made for storing food. I no longer use them for food, but other essentials.
    Even some of the food that had been stored still with-in the expiration date on the container will take on the taste of the plastic. I know, we have had this happen. I would like to know how they consider this safe. If you are tasting plastic, you are getting the same chemicals that are in that plastic.

    1. Yup, sounds like your containers are too old. For typical refrigerator food storage we use Rubbermaid containers and they’ve been excellent. ZERO residual taste of anything but the food itself.

      We seem to end up replacing these containers every number of years for one reason or anther. Losing covers, staining, etc.. That said, I wouldn’t necessarily trust decades old plastic containers for my fridge leftovers. Technology has changed lots since then.

      1. What about using the orange Home Depot buckets for food storage? If you are using the packaging that the food comes in and NOT dumping the food directly into the bucket. If the food comes in plastic bags ( beans, rice), paper boxes (powdered milk, soup mixes), plastic bottles (ketchup, mustard) is this a safe way to store the food? Don’t want to save food this way if it will be unsafe to eat in the long run.

        1. survivalist for the long run — do they have a good seal? are these new buckets, or able to be thoroughly sanitised? If so, all seems ok…don’t forget to put stuff in to handle humidity/oxygen/etc…

        2. That’s a good question. My opinion is this…

          If a given bucket/pail is not specifically labeled as food-safe (via icons or indicators), then I personally wouldn’t use them for long term food storage “IF” foods were directly contacting surfaces (dumping it in raw). HOWEVER, I only say that because of the availability of food safe buckets. If that availability were scarce, I wouldn’t worry too much.

          If you are utilizing Mylar inserts, I wouldn’t be too concerned. With that said, for the sake of clarity, Mylar bags will leach from outside to inside over a long period of time (depending on the bag’s thickness / qualities). But in my view this is fairly insignificant for long term food storage.

          Let me finish my brief opinion with this…

          At the end of the day, it’s about survival. We NEED food. Just because a non-food-safe bucket may have leached some potentially bad chemicals into the food in small amounts – I would rather eat food than worry about possible long term health effects from eating said food. Hopefully that makes sense.

          Bottom line, preferably use food-grade storage plastics (look for the symbol). Spend a few bucks and get the food grade. A few bucks aint worth much these days anyway, right? ;)

        3. I have some plastic boxes in my attic. If they have been closed up for a while I can smell plastic when I open them. I wouldn’t want food stored in then unless it was in a glass container (like grains that have been put in jars instead of original paper bags).

    2. I have had the same experience with so-called safe bottled water. If they sit in the sun or in a hot car the water can taste like plastic. I have to ask myself how much toxic chemical yuck 😝 am I ingesting before it’s so obvious? I do keep bottled water with my GO BAG for emergencies when the weight of glass may not be an option, and I refresh my stash often!

  2. “Safe plastic food containers”, now there is a stupid statement if I have ever heard one. Only clear non-leaded glass is safe after it has been washed a few times and sometimes I question that.

    1. @Texas boy
      We’re all gonna die at some point…. Don’t sweat the details too much. I have seen people who take care of themselves in every aspect organic food, health food, vitamins, over exercising etc….
      Then they get cut down by cancer early in life. It brakes my heart. It is unfortunate but you never know when your time is up. Better to go through life fat, drunk and stupid with no regrets.

      Plastic taste however is not appealing I try and store leftover foods in glass containers as much as possible for that reason.

      1. I understand what you have said. My wife of 48 yrs was a nurse for 43 yrs, we ate right, we exercised, you name it we did it. Then my wife was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer ( glioblastoma ) 2 yrs ago, I buried her last summer. You can do every thing right and still something happens that you can’t count on.

      2. Sorry mate, your position is perverse. Yes, sometimes you can do everything right and still get ill, but if you do everything wrong you’re a hell of a lot more likely to get ill. It’s about probabilities and doing the absolute best you can.

    2. Texas Boy,

      The purpose of this article was to helpfully identify the recycle symbols of various plastics to determine which types are being used today for foods / water, and considered ‘safe’.

      I don’t work for the plastics industry. I work for myself and run a preparedness blog. Many preparedness-minded people who are beyond Level 1 or Level 2 utilize plastics in one form another for their storage (e.g. 5 gallon buckets) and other such containers). So I felt this article and information to be relevant.

      I don’t consider it to be a “stupid statement” when I stated in the article above, “The following list cross-references the recycle number (recycling symbol) with what is generally considered safe for food…”

      Nowhere in the article can I find the statement that you quoted, “Safe plastic food containers”. Just saying…

  3. We used to write on the IV bags with a sharpie if we had added any medication to it. The a concern developed that the ink might leach into the solution. As far as I know there were no ill effects from it but who really knows.

    What we consider safe today may not be safe tomorrow. The best scientists in the world once thought lead pipes for drinking water would be safe. Now copper and brass pipes might be questionable as they may have trace amounts of lead in them.

    1. I worked for an IV bag manufacturer – the Sharpie ink will definitely leach into the solution.

  4. Ken,
    I have a quick question. Mylar, as in Mylar bags for food storage. What type of plastic??? I usually pack dry foods into Mylar, then into plastic buckets. For liquids I will always turn to glass or stainless steel.

    1. I’m curious about mylar too. Was considering lining raised (garden) beds with it. The plan would be to pump heated water thru the soil & the mylar should help reflect the heat back into the soil. We have a very short growing season (zone two or so) & anything we can do to help the plants…. Thinking of those mylar emergency blankets or maybe that Reflectix building material???

      1. Geo.;
        Actually that’s a heck of an idea on the Mylar, the blankets are very cheap and once in place will be protected…. Hummmmmm

      2. Geo
        Check out the materials that were used in the construction of the Mylar bags/blankets verses the Reflectix building material. Mylar I would have no problems with, but Reflectix(?).
        Mylar does come in long sheets so you have another option beside blanket lengths if you were not aware of its availability.

      3. Geo,
        I have always thought that heating the bottoms of the beds in a greenhouse and letting the tops of plants be cool would be better than trying to heat the whole greenhouse with hot air. Maybe put some bubble wrap on the bottom, heat tubing (I would suggest PEX) in the bottom of the soil column, them Mylar on top to reflect heat back down. As I mention above Mylar is PET and “food safe”.

  5. Good topic for discussion. I must be the most contrarian curmudgeon ever to surf this site. My take on this is that there is no such thing as a “safe” plastic just as there is no such thing as something for “free”. There is always a cost to everything and in the realm of safety and personal health, my monetary costs go up every time industry tries to cut back, down size, make things cheap and affordable, or make it easier or quicker and putting food in plastic is a good case in point.

    It seems like everything sold nowadays is in plastic bottles. We’ve tried to eliminate as much of that stuff as we can from our life and started making our own instead. If I can’t find it in glass and cannot make it then I won’t eat it. Vinegar is the only exception but… see below.

    Dill pickles used to be packed in glass jars but now are in plastic. We started making our own.

    Ketchup used to be sold in glass but no longer is. We now make our own.

    BBQ sauce used to be sold in glass, now it’s in plastic. We make our own.

    There are a number of things I stopped buying because I’m unable to find it in glass jars.

    Several years ago DW and I noticed that white vinegar was no longer available in glass gallon jars. We could only get glass jars in 32 oz and 16 oz bottles. That day, we sadly intuited the hand writing on the wall and drove around to a dozen or so grocery stores and cleaned out all of their 32 oz glass bottles of white vinegar. Now when we get vinegar in plastic gallon jugs we transfer it to glass for long term storage. We look at the expiration dates and buy the one that has the longest future date preferably 3 years out, which implies it was recently packed. We tested this theory once by keeping a couple gallons in plastic for three years and when we opened it found that the vinegar had gone flat and took on what I’d describe as an undesirable toxic flavor. Vinegar is supposed to have an indefinite shelf life if it is stored in a cool dark place but in plastic that simply is not true. Who the hell in their right mind would think selling and storing vinegar in plastic is a good idea?!

    Today we recycle all of our glass jars, especially the wide mouth gallons and ring neck gallon clear glass Carlo Rossi wine bottles. For daily water consumption we use the green glass Perrier bottles. Thankfully we have been able to accumulate a couple hundred of those little green bottles because now Perrier is sold in plastic bottles. I won’t be buying any more of their product. Just saying.

    1. CrabbeNebulae,
      Maybe you ought to invest in some old oak wine or bourbon barrels for water, they can be had fairly inexpensive, and can be cleaned fairly well. Strong too. I agree with you though, glass is still one of my favorites, all our ‘family wine’ in made in glass carboys then put into glass bottles.

      1. Minerjim;
        I can NOT believe you would suggest using a Wine or Bourbon barrel for “water” that’s sacrilegious. Storing Beer Wine and Bourbon (and maybe a little Shine for ageing), you bet, (and highly recommended) but never “water”…. HAHAHAHAHA

        1. NRP,
          I was thinking the residual ‘product’ would act as a disinfectant for the water. My mistake. But $120 for a used 65 gallon oak barrel is a good investment in my opinion, and they can be used for other things when empty.

        2. NRP,
          You can pick them up in Denver for that price, if you ever get up that way.

        3. NRP,
          We have family still in there, so we do visit every couple of months. Since I got my CC permit I do feel a bit ‘safer’ going into Denver. Our trips could be best described as ‘quick and efficient’, try and get done what we need to do ( including stock ups we can’t get here) and return to the western slope.

        4. In the east go to Jim Beam or Jack Daniels. UMM just some water with bourbon or sour mash.

        5. Minerlim;
          Just curious, the CCW from CO or?
          lets switch conversation over to Saturdays conversation.

      2. I have been thinking that we all should go back to drinking alcoholic beverages all the time. Back in early days people drank alcohol because their water was polluted with urine, feces, butcher by products, etc. Just sayin’

        1. FLgrl:
          Actually that was “Beer”, hence there was a Pub in every town.

    2. CrabbeNebulae;
      I agree 1000% with you on the Vinegars and any high acid foods. Like you I’m working more and more on “making my own”.
      I can still find Pickles in one-gallon containers at Sam’s Clun (not an advertisement) and save every last Jar.
      And I have to admit, I’m a Ball/Kerr mason jar horde, I save and buy every last one I can find, even with the plastic lining on the lid I figure it’s a LOT better than a all plastic container.

      1. There was talk awhile back on MSB about the quality of the newer canning jars. Ya have that right. I had not bought any in years. The difference is so obvious. Sad…

      2. NRP

        You are right about the flat canning lids. Fortunately all of my current supplies are Made in the USA and are supposed to be BPA free never-the-less, unlike storing food in plastic containers where the contents are in constant contact with the plastic where big time leaching can occur, canning lids generally do not come in contact with the contents of the jar after the canning process. I don’t store my canned goods up side down, so there really is minimal to no leaching involved. I’m ok with that.

        My first attempt to make wine was in a plastic food-grade wine/beer fermenter. I racked it off into glass carboys later but the fermenting process took about 6 weeks because I kept adding sugar and booster every week and it kept bubbling right along. I didn’t use grapes but cracked corn instead. It was called Golden Dynamite which was a recipe I got from a wine making book. Talk about a high alcohol foul tasting mess!  I still drank it though. 

        1. CrabbeNebulae;
          Agreed on the “contact” of food to the lids.
          YA want to talk NASTY wine? Klingon Blood Wine made with Kool-Aid, sugar, Bread Yeast and water….. OMG could not even distill it off and taste good….

    3. Surprisingly I have noticed a slight increase in the number of foods that are starting to come in glass. I always buy foods in glass over plastic, sometimes a few pennies extra but worth it as far as health concerns. I do avoid buying anything in plastic, but sometimes its just unavoidable. I save the most practical glass containers to re-use for other foods. I am acquiring a good assortment.

      1. Peanut Gallery, I had bought some Pineapple in plastic containers, was bad in 6 months. Will NOT be getting anymore of that stuff for sure.

    4. I am glad to know about the “flat” vinegar. I do like the design of the plastic gal. jug though. Easy for an older person to carry liquid in. I clean them and put back incase I want to store some water short term.

    5. Everyone who is thinking about food storage should check out the Food Packaging Forum. There is info about fluorine gas treatment of HDPE containers which leaches PFAS into food.

  6. As Peanut Gallery said;
    **”Okay, now you know I have to say something”**
    In the “Modern” world one can NOT escape plastics, period.

    BUT as far as long term Water and Food storage, unless you have a LOT of money to spend on Stainless Steel containers for water and a nothing but Glass/SS food storage containers you’re not going to get away from plastic.

    Now let’s say you’re rich like Ken, and have nada but, ohhhhhh, let’s say Glass Canning Jars. GREAT!!!! But what are you going to use for ‘Lids’? Are those not covered with a thin layer of “Plastic”?

    How about that Water storage, are you not using those Plastic Bricks?

    And the Stainless Steel refrigerator storage bowls, those also have a Rubber/Plastic seal on the Lid.

    Now I know the intent of the Article is to teach the “Differences” of plastics, and want to or not to use for Water/Food storage. BUT as even Ken pointed out the #2 HDPE containers may NOT be “safe”. How about those 5000 miles of ‘Plastic Wrap’ we all use? 99.99% of food comes wrapped in when ya buy it from Wally World?

    SO, with that in mind what do ya do? Personally I use as much Glass as possible, and will just have to “trust” the lids, but admittedly I do use a lot of that NASTY Plastic Wrap for freezing foods. OOPS.

    One last thing since I got going here, I’m a Home Brewer and learned very VERY quickly to do NOT use ANY plastic in the Beer or Wine making process. Not even a Plastic ladle to stir the brew when cooking or mixing. I have tasted Wine that was fermented in a plastic 5-gallon water bottle, NASTY is a polite word for it.

    Thanks Ken for the Article, and pointing out the supposed ‘Correct’ Plastic Containers for Water/Food storage, even though we still have NO idea if the #2 HDPE buckers are “safe”.

    As a PS;
    Note I just read an article on the Ball Canning Lids, in which it was pointed out that many of the older lids still contained BPAs. The way to tell is ones that DON’T contain BPA have a “Dot” between the ‘flower” pattern on the lid, or under the Inscription it has “made in the USA”.

    As a second PS;
    Ever try to get the Pickle Smell out of a used Pickle Bucket? Ain’t going to happen, so if the Pickle “Smell” can penetrate the bucket and NEVER be gotten out, what makes one think the Plastic is not contaminating the food?

  7. Good Lord, another thing to take into consideration. Oh well, plastic it is because I’m not investing extra money to replace my food grade plastic containers for glass or stainless steel. Frankly, I worry more about food preservatives in my long term storage foods than plastic degradation.

  8. Ken,
    just looked it up. Mylar is Biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate, a form of PET. So good to go for storing food in mylar bags.

  9. Like glass too, whenever I can. The BPA in cans is a problem though!!! Some of the organic brands are BPA free. Humm wonder if they are lined with something else yet to be known….
    Dinosaurs, oil, plastic. Wonder if in a million years the plastic will have morphed into a product that future humans will use? It has to change into something…..

  10. Different topic here but my question is: I want to make raised bed strawberry gardens and use pipe cut in half, much like the videos showing them using rain gutters. Those are aluminum so I dont want to use them. Does anyone know if the pipe used for water would be safe ? I thought of using cedar wood planter boxes but not sure I can afford them. Any ideas appreciated, thanks!

    1. Pvc pipe is suitable for potable drinking water
      Do some research before you start doing anything, there are hydroponic setups that utilize pvc pipe with holes drilled in them and a wire or plastic basket stuck into the hole then coco or peat plugs with your plants in them, there is a lot more to it than just sticking plants in a tray, that will work for 5 minutes then reality takes over,

    2. Posting a link not sure if it will pass inspection, is on Amazon

    3. Dee,
      The kit on Amazon that i linked if Ken approves it is a very cost effective way to start with hydroponics, complete setup, everything except the growing medium and seeds and nutrient materials, ive already tried what your talking about and just figured i would head you off before you waste a bunch of money and energy. That kit is also super easy to set up and comes with some instruction so will help you get growing much faster and with much better results

  11. Hi. I am from India. Everyone here these days is opting for RO(Reverse Osmosis )purified water. Water purification plants have been installed in many cities and have been dispensing water for years now in the form of 20 litre cans. I think they are made from type HDPE plastic but I am a dilettante in that matter and am oblivious to that part. The bottles are very expedient for transporting and to use and most people are falling for the healthier prospects of pure water. Now I don’t know weather it is safe or not(probably not), but every retail shop is storing them out in direct sunlight. But the heartbreaker would be the transport vehicles exposing the bottles to minutes/hours of sunlight during their delivery drive. How hazardous is this if any and what kind of plastic is it made of .

  12. Please! I would like some input from some well informed sources. I was recently in a Panera in Georgia. I ordered one of their soups. I was dismayed to look into the kitchen and see that the vats in which the soup is ladled from, are lined in plastic bags. I called my local Panera and told them what I had seen. I told them I hoped that this wasn’t a company wide practice. She informed me that it is done at every location.
    I do not heat out of any heated plastic, at least not knowingly. I asked the manager about the labeling. She was happy to help and retrieved the packaging. She told me that it was labeled HDPE. I felt better for a moment, given what I’ve read about HDPE. But then I haven’t been able to find in one place saying whether or not HDPE is thought to be food safe when HEATED. Those soups sit there for hours each day. Any tomato based soups might be particularly absorptive if there are any questionable chemicals released with the heat. Any educated input is very much appreciated, along with any legitimate sites/sources. Thanks so very much!

    1. Sheila….– myself, I try not to eat out of any type of plastic. I have always said I could actually taste/smell the plastic in the food/drink. With the advent of new types of storage plastics/labellings, this has not changed. Not too long back, I read a couple of research articles which came to the conclusion that even the newest “safe” plastics did indeed offgas/leave chemical residue in foods/drinks.

      Here is an interesting experiment….take a container (bag) from whatever plastic you believe (due to label?) is now “safe”. Cut a sandwhich in half. Put half in this in the fridge. Put the other half in glass container in fridge. After a couple of days, open and smell each. My experience has been (with any foodstuffs), after storage in plastic, you can latterly smell the difference. Doesn’t seem like this would be a good thing.

  13. Well, two things: I think Corning Ware is food safe, but, I don’t automatically consider any glass or ceramic product food safe. I don’t consider leaded glass safe, and try to avoid it, and there are lead based (or lead containing) glazes that may be on a ceramic. (In fact, glazes may contain other heavy metals which should not be considered food safe.)

  14. I bought this week from Walmart: Smuckers Squeeze Reduced Sugar Strawberry Spread. The container shows a 7 type plastic. This surprized me. I phoned Smuckers and mentioned this. She checked and said all containers they use are FDA approved for food storage. So is she correct?
    M.L. Central Indiana

  15. I like to grind up the used plastic containers and include it in my bake goods with the flour. The shelf life is incredible and only rivaled by a Twinkie.

  16. I’ve been having trouble finding larger containers to use for growing vegetables. There are some super 20-27 gallon buckets and totes, such as the black/yellow rectangular totes and round rope handled muck buckets, but none of them seem to have any sort of recycle code on the bottom. I’ve even tried contacting the manufacturers, and have been unsuccessful in getting any sort of response. I’ve read somewhere about “high impact resin” but have no idea if that’s what they’re made of, or whether it is safe.

    I doubt these would be really safe for veggie growing, since they are outside and subject to the elements and potential leaching. What I’m wondering is whether it would be helpful to line the unknown plastic bucket or tote with a grow bag? Seems like the strength of the bucket/tote would make it easier to move around, since 20 gallons of soil is pretty heavy.

    Anyone used 20 gallon grow bags, or have an opinion about what these unidentified containers might be made of and whether they would be safe?


    1. FinallyOuttaCA;
      I use a ton of Plastic Barrels, the 55 gallon ones you can get cheap, usually $10 each.
      I gut them in 1/2 and punch a dozen 3/8″ holes around the bottom.
      a 25 gallon 1/2 barrel is perfect for a LOT of different Vegs.
      Make sure you rinse of wash the insides. Have had zero problems

  17. FinallyOC,

    We used black 5 gallon spun poly grow bags last year for tomatoes, plants grew but no fruit. could very well have been the season last year, which was goofy to say the least.
    if you are so concerned about using plastic, why don’t you just find some old gunny sacks, double them up, fill them with soil, and plant in those??? Most of the gunny sacks are made of natural jute material. Or, plant in hay bales. Just get a hay bale, make kind of a hole in it, throw in some dirt and your plant start. Water the bale, they hold water very well. just a few thoughts.

    1. minerjim;
      Re the Hay Bales, I happen to do that a lot, make GREAT Tomato planters, I set them on the “grain” end dig about a 6″ hole in and plant away.
      The will last from 3-5 years, and make GREAT compost when the finally fall apart.
      PS: do NOT use HAY, use Straw, the Hay will sprout and make a heck of a Fuzzy Mess…. OK, ask me how I kow…

  18. Best to cover any plastic containers with an excellent epoxy like Korekote, which is used for giant water storage tanks, boats, airplanes, floors, kitchen cutting boards, counters, table tops, and anything and everything you can think of. Once the epoxy is cured, it’s foodsafe. You can even put on some fiberglass for structural strength.

  19. HI…What types of Plastics pouches used by these Pet foods sellers .. Like The Farmers Dog and nom nom now.

    Are these plastics pouches safe for my pet. which type does it come under..

  20. What does this mean? ( A circle on the back of big blue container and a little arrow that’s pointing to the number 10)

    Can I use this for a rain barrel for collecting rain for my flowers and plants?

  21. Cindy

    Short answer, they are used to mark some date of manufacture for the purposes of knowing how old the piece is for plastics that degrade with time and exposure.

    This is the date the item was manufactured. The upper dial gives the year, the middle one, the month.

    The bottom indicator could be a mold identifier, and in some cases, it might be a shift indicator (although this would typically be a clock going from 1 to 3, 4, or 6 depending on how shifts are allocated rather than the example showing 0 to 5).

    I got this from google. I hope this helps

    1. So I found out that my barrel is a number two with a little recyclable triangle thing would that be safe to use then and with the arrow pointing to the 10 on the circle thingy?

      1. Cindy

        Ok, so what’s your question? Use for food? NO. Use for rainwater for plants? Maybe. Where did the barrel come from? Is there a label on the barrel? If there is, what was in it? Did/can you wash the barrel out with bleach and soap? Smell? Residue left over inside?

        If you are in ANY doubt, DO NOT USE, for anything, get rid of it.

        1. That was from A farm. Did not mean to have a smell or odor I cleaned it out multiple times just in case. And did not have a label. I am definitely not gonna be using it for food because it was found outside. However I would like to use it for rainwater collection so I can water my plants and save some money.

  22. Here in Melbourne Australia we usually buy milk in 2 litre food grade 2 HDPE plastic bottles. What do people think about re-using these for olive curing where they remain for a few months in a 10% brine solution. I ask this as we have got a bumper olive crop this year and I have run out of glass jars. I’m pretty confident it would be OK but would like to get some comments about any side effects.

    1. I don’t see why not.

      Those bottles will eventually break down, and probably faster in direct contact with salt, but it’s worth a try. I presume the olives won’t be stored permanently in those bottles?

  23. Thanks Lauren. After a couple of months the olives will be removed and the brine solution discarded. They will be then covered in water in the container with a few spices and then a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar added followed by a layer of olive oil as a seal.

  24. can you use the 27 gallon totes that are black with a yellow lid for food like spaghetti in boxes or do chemicals leach into them.

  25. Being in my 70s …..I have no adverse concerns with plastics, actually try and remember when ddt was such a scare here in the USA because when tested on chickens some results where thinner shells, yet the irony being our imported fruits and vegetables are treated with ddt, so much for any controls by the FDA or common sense being a factor. I grew up when almost everything was in glass containers, then as an example they switched 1/ 2 gallon milk containers to waxed paper containers which had their own contamination concerns. So getting to my golden years must be a fluke in nature, but not to worry the coming events will erase any worries about what you have and what it is stored in. Moderation and common sense will be your savior not what a container is made of.

  26. I am looking for a food grade barrel for 55 or 60 gallons to store drinking water in the event of an emergency, there are different levels of food grade barrels 1 through 10. What food grade level should I be looking for?

  27. My son purchased an AZ TEA in a gallon plastic container. I was going to repurpose it for storing water but the plastic is labeled 7-OTHER with the triangle-arrow frame, as well as 5-PP with the triable-arrow frame. All my research shows anything g with a 7 is BPA and non-recyclable but anything with a 5 is ok? Any help out there would be much appreciated.

  28. if your concern is safe productive gardening, health, and survival in the cold zones, check out the amazing “Greenhouse in the Snow” many YT videos about NW high plains Nebraska geothermal greenhouses where Russ Finch (I believe still kickin’ in his 90’s) has grown oranges for decades without heaters.

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