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Hope For Plastic Bags

COMMUNITY CENTERRecycling & ReusingDec 3, 2013Elizabeth Vaughn

Author: Elizabeth Vaughn

Plastic bags are everywhere.  And they cause all sorts of environmental issues.  Unfortunately, they’re very hard to avoid.  Sure you can choose a reusable bag over a plastic grocery bag (although I don’t always remember them myself) but what about the plastic used to package bread, paper towels even water bottle cases?  According to the EPA, only 8% of the total plastic waste generated in 2011 was recovered for recycling.  That means the other 92% most likely went into landfills or worse, into wildlife habitats like forests, wetlands and the ocean.

But wait, there’s hope!  Did you know that many plastic bags are easily recycled?  Next time you hit up the grocery store, look for the plastic bag recycling bin.  It’s probably near the front doors.  You’ll see that it’s mostly full of regular plastic grocery bags but you can actually recycle even more in the same bin!  Here are a few items you might not have known about:

  • Polyethylene stretch and shrink wrap
  • Newspaper Sleeves
  • Paper towel/toilet paper over wrap
  • Dry produce bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Case wrap used for soda bottles, water bottles, canned goods
  • Zip lock bags (clean and dry)
  • Bread bags (clean and dry)
  • Ice bags (dry and no metal clips)
  • Bubble wrap

How exciting is that?  Think of all that extra plastic that will NOT be going to the landfill if we all recycle these items as well.  I plan to get a small garbage can at my house just for plastic bag/wrap recyclables!  After all, it’s important to make it easy.  And when all I have to do is bring the plastic bags with me on my next trip to the grocery store, it couldn’t be easier!

What do you think?  Will you join me in my quest to recycle more plastics?  Let’s do this!



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