Safe, cost-effective alternatives to PVC are readily available for virtually every use. From safe plastics, to bio-based materials, there is a growing market replacing hazardous PVC products. You can help build consumer demand for safer, healthier products by avoiding the purchase of PVC. One way to be sure if the packaging of a product is made from PVC is to look for the number "3" inside or the letter "V" underneath the universal recycling symbol. In addition, soft flexible plastic products that are made with PVC often have a distinct odor, such as vinyl shower curtains. If you suspect that a product is made of PVC, contact the product manufacturer and ask them directly about the materials used in the product or packaging and your concerns about PVC.