Plastic Bag Recycling

Categories: Community Voices, Redefining Trash, Social Action

Due to the situation we all find ourselves in because of COVID-19, there have been unintended impacts to the environment. Some are positive, such as improved air quality due to far less air pollution. Some are more negative, such as increased single-use plastic consumption, since bringing reusable grocery or produce bags is no longer allowed in many grocery stores.

So what is one to do with all of those extra plastic bags? The good news is that it is relatively easy to recycle them, along with other forms of plastic film that are often forgotten when considering plastic recycling.

This site for plastic film recycling has all of the details, including:

In addition to the competition possibilities listed on the plastic film site, a blog reader recently let me know that another company sponsors competitions, and will make and donate a composite bench out of these materials:

While you can see the complete list of what is recyclable at , here are some of the everyday items that I never knew could be included:

  • All types of plastic bags: grocery bags, newspaper bags, plastic that covers dry-cleaning, bags that hold bread, produce bags (clean and dry)
  • Zip-top food storage bags (clean and dry)
  • Plastic shipping envelopes (remove labels), bubble wrap and air pillows (deflate)
  • Product wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue (a very popular item these days), diapers, and female sanitary products
  • Plastic cereal box liners (but if it tears like paper, do not include)

I find that collecting this kind of plastic film adds up quickly. We eat our fair share of cereal, and most packages come with some sort of bubble wrap or air pillows. I usually let it accumulate for a month or two and then bring in several bags of it at once.

Of course, reducing consumption of plastic film by being more mindful while shopping is optimal. But in the cases where plastic bags or film can’t be avoided, taking advantage of recycling these items is an easy and convenient way to redefine trash.

Andy is a longtime member of Beth El’s Social Action Committee. Read more about the challenges and rewards of recycling at his blog Redefining Trash



 Looking for a new spiritual home?
You are welcome at Beth El.

Recent blog posts

The Fabrics of Our Lives

Americans are fashion conscious. Particularly, they like to buy new clothes. There is even a term, “retail therapy,” that is often associated with purchasing items of clothing to elevate one’s mood. Cheap clothing at mainstream retailers lets people change wardrobes and styles as frequently as their wallets allow. While these habits can help support the…

Read More
Read more

Junk Mail

Junk mail. Its very name implies something that we don’t want or need. I know at our house, it tends to make up the majority of the mail we get any given day. What can you do with it all? Some people recycle it, either at home or bring it to the closest Abitibi bin,…

Read More
Read more

What We Talk About When We Talk About Plastic Recycling

Try to imagine a day where you go without using plastic—it’s impossible. From yogurt containers to shampoo bottles to takeout containers, plastic is a part of our daily lives. Just a few years ago, this didn’t bother many people because recycling plastic was easier and more commonplace. South Hills townships used to recycle all plastics…

Read More
Read more