Plastic Tablecloths Put in Garbage Do Not Recycle Plastic tablecloths are too thin to be processed with other plastics. They can easily tangle sorting machinery, which causes lengthy delays and hazards for the sanitation workers who have to untangle them. Dispose of them as garbage. Avoid Plastic #3 Some tablecloths are made from PVC, or plastic #3. Plastic #3 contains chemicals such as lead, DEHA and harmful dioxins. These can lead to various health risks, such as birth defects, hormone disorders and cancer. It is best for your health and the environment to avoid plastic #3. Don’t Let Them Blow Away Use a heavy centerpiece or a paperweight to prevent plastic tablecloths from blowing away. If they become litter in the environment, they can harm wildlife and leach toxic chemicals. Ways to Reduce Use Fabric Tablecloths Instead Fabric tablecloths last much longer than plastic tablecloths and can be washed like other laundry after each use. Ways to Reuse Turn Into Drop Cloths Old plastic tablecloths can be used as drop cloths for messy projects or slipcovers for items in storage. Did You Know? The Toxic Side of Plastic #3 Plastic #3, also known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is not only the least recyclable plastic, but also one of the most toxic plastics used to make consumer goods. Exposure to its chemicals, which include dioxins and phthalates, can result in hormone and gene disruption, birth defects and cancer. Plastic #3 is used to make items such as blister packs, plastic tablecloths, credit cards, shoes, clothing and furniture.