Recycle Right

Plastic bags are recyclable, just not in your curbside recycling container

Plastic film

Feb 04, 2020

What do you usually do with your plastic grocery, bread and dry cleaning bags? Do you toss them in the garbage? Do you put them in your recycling container?

Hopefully, you answered ‘No’ and ‘No.’

These types of bags are made with extremely thin sheets of plastic, called plastic film. Plastic film is also used to make newspaper sleeves, food storage bags, wrapping around cases of bottled water, the bubble wrap and air pillows used in packaging, and product overwraps (think paper towels and toilet paper).

Products made of plastic film are recyclable as long as they’re clean and dry. They just can’t go in your curbside recycling container. That’s because this type of plastic is stretchy and can tangle in the sorting equipment designed to separate plastic, paper, glass and other materials.

Instead, save your plastic bags and other film plastic items in a big plastic or paper bag near your recycling container. Then, the next time you’re shopping or running errands, drop it off at one of the dozens of grocers and retailers in central Ohio that accept plastic film for recycling, including Kroger, Giant Eagle, Lowe’s, Target, Walmart, Meijer, Koh’s, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Swan Cleaners. Visit our Recycling and Reuse Search Tool to find the location nearest you.

These stores send the plastic film to facilities capable of recycling it. From there, it’s used to make products such as crates, plastic bags and corrugated pipe as well as durable composite lumber used for fences, decks and benches.

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