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The state of plastics recycling in the United States

What Every Consumer Should Know about Recycling Plastic Bags and Wraps
  • Plastic bags and wraps aren’t typically recycled in curbside programs, but they are widely recycled through conveniently located collection bins at grocery and retail stores.
  • Check your local grocer or retailer (e.g., Target, Lowe’s) to see if they collect plastic bags and/or wraps. Most stores provide a bin at the entrance or sometimes at the checkout area.
  • If your program collects bags only, you can recycle any clean, dry plastic carryout bag.
  • If your store collects a wider variety of “plastic film” or “plastic bags and wraps” – as most of them do – you can recycle any of the following: plastic carryout bags and sacks; dry cleaning bags; newspaper bags; bread bags; cereal box liners (the plastic bags that come inside the cardboard box); produce bags; sealable food storage bags (no food residue); shipping envelopes (remove paper labels and stickers); wraps from paper products, (diapers, napkins, paper towels, bathroom tissue, and baby wipes); and case wrap from bulk snacks and beverages.
  • Make sure plastic bags and wraps are clean and dry. NO food residue, paint, adhesive or stickers.
  • To conveniently stow used plastic bags and wraps until your next trip to the store, simply place items inside a plastic bag and tie handles to keep everything neatly contained.
  • When recycled, plastic bags and wraps can be made into new bags and wraps, durable outdoor decks and fences, homebuilding products, and lots of other things.

  • Read more: Recycling 183 Film 81