Most people are familiar with the idea of recycling plastic bottles. After all, they are the most common type of plastic product most people deal with on a regular basis. You can find recycling bins for them just about everywhere. Schools, malls, and places of employment often have access to recycling receptacles in easy to find and use places.
The other type of plastic that also typically finds its way into our hands, as consumers is plastic bags. We don’t tend to think about plastic bags recycling though. Fortunately, there are tons of ways you can reduce plastic bag usage and recycle the bags you do end up with. As far as recycling is concerned, you need to know which ones can be recycled and which ones have to be thrown away or not used at all.
It’s easier to start with the plastic bags recycling centers are willing to accept. A good rule of thumb to remember is that any plastic bag with a mark of 2 or 4 is completely recyclable. Another hint to keep things going smoothly with your recycling efforts is that every bag to be recycled should be clean and dry. With that said, the plastic bags that fall into this category are usually grocery bags and retail bags. A note about the retail bags to keep in mind is that hard plastic or string handles have to be removed before they can be recycled. Dry cleaning, newspaper bags, and the plastic wrap on paper towels and toilet paper are also good candidates for recycling.
Not every type of plastic bags is correct for the recycling bin though. When it comes to recycling, plastic bags that once contained foods, like frozen vegetables or pre washed salads are not recyclable currently. Plastic cling wrap and food wrap is also off the list. Adding bio based or plastic bags intended for composting are dangerous to the recycling process and should never be added into the recycling bin. Finally, keep any plastic bags that have been painted or have a ton of glue on them at home. They won’t find any help at the recycling center.
With the right kind of plastic bags, recycling is a positive step for any household or community. When everyone works together to gather and send the correct types of materials, the recycling plants can better do their job and make new plastic from the old for conservation of resources and energy. Keep the above tips in mind when you are compiling your plastic recycling materials and you can bet everything will go just fine.