Recycle Your Plastic Bags

recycling codeIt is possible to recycle your plastic single use grocery bags if you have a recycle center near your home.  The has a web site for consumers and retailers letting them know where the drop offs are, and the requirements for dropping off the bags.  As a retailer, you can add your business to the directory if you collect bags, and as a consumer, you can find out where to drop them off.

Plastic bags are made out of sheets of plastic which is called “film”. Plastic film is typically defined as any plastic less than 10 mm thick.  The majority of plastic films are made from polyethylene resin and are readily recyclable if the material is clean, dry, and not pigmented black.
In 1988, the plastics industry introduced its voluntary resin identification coding system.  The code system was developed to meet recyclers’ needs while at the same time providing manufacturers a consistent, uniform system that could apply nationwide.  The resin coding system offered a means of identifying the resin content of bottles and containers commonly found in everyday waste.  Most grocery bags are made from a film with a code 2 film density, while newspaper bags and bread bags are made from a code 4 film density.

The directory is a great resource for finding drop off locations nearest you.  However, the best option for reducing the amount of plastic that might not get recycled is to use heavier weight, reusable grocery bags that can be used hundreds of times before turning them in to be recycled, rather than just once.

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