As I cram one more plastic bag into my already full plastic bag recycling bag it ocurred to me that I have come a long way! I am really recycing A LOT of plastic bags and keeping them out of the landfill. Way to go me!!
So, I know you are dying to know how I do such a great job with plastic bag recycling! It’s really not all that exciting, actually. It really just comes from finding out more about plastic bag recycling, bombarding the contact from plasticfilmrecycling.org with lots of questions and CHANGING MY HABITS!
Why Recycle Plastic Bags
Every year, around 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. So many that over one million bags are being used every minute and they’re damaging our environment. Of those 500 billion bags, 100 billion are consumed in the United States alone.
Plastic bags can be seen hanging from the branches of trees, flying in the air on windy days, settled amongst bushes and floating on rivers. They clog up gutters and drains causing water and sewage to overflow and become the breeding grounds of germs and bacteria that cause diseases.
Animals and sea creatures are hurt and killed every day by discarded plastic bags. Unfortunately, mistaking plastic bags for food is commonplace amongst marine animals. Plastic clogs their intestines and leads to slow starvation. Others become entangled in plastic bags and drown.
However, what are you supposed to do if your trip to the grocery store for the products you need for your family are all packaged in some type of plastic bag or plastic wrap? Recycling is a great start and EASY to do!
Which Plastic Bags Can Be Recycled?
It turns out there are quite a few types of plastic bags that can be recycled. It’s way more than just those plastic shopping bags – which you have responsibly replaced with reusable bags anyway, right?! 🙂
Here is a quick overview:
- Retail, Newspaper, Dry Cleaning, Bread, Produce, and also other Plastic Bags labeled #2 and #4
- Zip Close Food Storage bags (clean and dry)
- Furniture and Electronic wrap
- Plastic cereal box liners (if it tears like paper do not include)
- Plastic shipping envelopes, including Tyvek ®, bubble wrap and air pillows (remove labels and/or deflate)
- Product Wrap (used on paper towels, diapers, bathroom tissue, water bottles)
- Any film packaging or bag that has the How2Recycle label
That’s a pretty extensive list, right? Currently putting any of those into the trash? Well, now you don’t have to! Just do your best to get into the habit of separating them out to be recycled.
Sorting Plastic Bags
So, yes plastic bag recycling is probably going to require a separate bin in your kitchen but this one doesn’t have to take up much space!
I just use a recyclable plastic bag hung inside a kitchen cabinet to collect all the plastic bags. Once it’s full – and I can no longer shut the cabinet door – I’ll take the whole thing off to the collection bin.
Now remembering to actually take it from my car to the drop off bin is a habit I am still working on! My kids usually start complaining about having to sit among the plastic bags in the car which is my reminder to get them out! 🙂
Plastic Bag Collection Bins
I know you’ve probably walked by a plastic bag recycling bin drop off a million times so you probably know where your closest location is. If not, check out the location finder for a drop off location near you.
Plastic bag recycling is SO easy! It really is as simple as tweaking one small habit! Now that you know what types of bags you can recycle all you have to do is put that next plastic bag into your super easy to set-up plastic bag recycling bin!! And since it’s SO easy, why not do it?? No big changes! It’s just your family only greener!!