What to do with Plastic Bags

Recycling & Plastic Bags

What are we talking about? Disposable carryout plastic bags distributed at the point of sale, also known as single-use bags.
 
For decades, plastic bags made from high-density polyethylene (#2 plastic) or low-density polyethylene (#4 plastic) have been the standard for helping shoppers get their purchases home. While plastic bags are cheap to manufacture and sturdy, they have become the bane of the waste industry and the environment. Some states are banning them completely.

What we are asking

We are asking that you don't use plastic bags in your recycle cart. If you collect your recyclables in bags, empty the contents into your recycle cart and return the plastic bags to the retailer or grocer.
 

Here's why plastic bags are such a problem:

  • Plastic bags get thrown into recycling bins by mistake and jam up recycling machinery.

  • During transport and at the landfill, they are a huge source of litter problems.

  • Plastic bags are one of the most common sources of ocean debris, where they can be mistaken as food by birds and fish.

  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, which means it will take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill.


What you can do to reduce waste and litter associated with plastic bags:

  • When you go to a store, take your own reusable bags, or ask for no bag if you're only buying one or two items.

  • Take your empty, clean #2 or #4 plastic bags to appropriate recycling centers. Many grocery stores have collection bins where you can drop them off for free. 

  • If your plastic bags are made from something other than #2 or #4, use them for something else, like lining your garbage cans, before throwing them away.