If you’re confused about what to do with your plastic grocery bags, you’re not the only one. We receive many questions each week from people who are wondering what to do with their stash of bags.
If you’re not recycling them, you’re leaving a lot of good on the table. Recycling plastic bags can make a real, positive impact on the planet. And, if you are recycling them—by placing them in your single-stream recycling bin every week—you’re not doing it right, either.
The challenges of plastic bag recycling
The first challenge: recycling rules vary in every community. One community may take pizza boxes, while another community may decide they don’t want to deal with the potential horde of insects and rodents the boxes may attract. Second, most facilities are prepared to manage hard recycling materials, such as aluminum cans or plastic milk cartons. This is a practical choice—bulky, hard items are easier to separate and organize.
This last point, in particular, is challenging as it relates to plastic grocery bags. They’re soft. They’re difficult to separate from other items. However (and this is the good news!), they certainly can be recycled and made into new materials.
The right way to recycle your grocery bags
Recycling your grocery bags the right way is easy. Just return your plastic grocery bags to the location you picked them up in the first place: the grocery store! Do not place them in your regular curbside recycling bin. It’s really that simple.
Placing your plastic bags into the storefront bins ensures they’ll be recycled properly. These bags are easy to collect on your own over time. Simply let your household stash build up and return them in batches to their proper storefront bins. Your efforts will ensure the bags get recycled and made into new items, such as fencing, playground equipment and pipes. Or new bags. Check out how we’re closing the loop!
Closing the Loop
Here at Recycle1, We partner with one of the largest international retail and grocery chains to take returned plastic bags, turn them into pellets, and then turn them right back into new plastic bags for the retailer. We do this with our new multi-million dollar extrusion machine. This process not only helps to save the planet, it can save retailers thousands of dollars, too.
Here’s why it matters
For the long-term, it’s critical to not only recycle your plastic bags the proper way, but also to consider ways in which you can reduce your overall consumption. For now, focus on recycling plastic bags the right way. It’s a no-nonsense first step towards making a positive impact on your environment.
Do you have a question about recycling plastic bags, or anything else regarding recycling in general? We’re here to help!