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The Perils of Plastic Film

Plastic film seems to be everywhere you look these days, so let’s take a look at what it is and why it’s so important to dispose of correctly.

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Is it OK to put plastic film in the recycling bin if it says “Please Recycle”, is marked #2 or #4, or is a plastic bag full of recycling?
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Out of all the materials that incorrectly end up at an MRF, plastic film is one of the worst. But we toss out so much soft plastic each year — an estimated 380 billion plastic bags and wraps in the US alone, equal in weight to 1.6 million cars — that we need to reduce what we can and find a way to recycle the rest. Find out why this is such a problem and how you can help!


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  • Lija W. 2 months ago
    When I emailed my grocery store, this is the reply I received.

    Our locations accept clean and dry soft plastics in the plastic bag recycling bins. Some of the items we take are included below:

    • Plastic package from toilet paper, napkins, & paper towels

    • Overwrap from shipping cases

    • Ziploc and other re-sealable bags (without a hard zipper)

    • Bread & produce bags

    • Cereal bags (soft plastics only, the ones that do not come in a box also)

    • Dry cleaning bags/protective plastic

    • Newspaper sleeves

    • Ice bags, salt bags, wood pellet bags

  • Lija W. 2 months ago
    I emailed my local grocery store and asked them what exactly they accepted in the plastic recycling bins. They sent me back a very nice reply. So the best solution if you really want to do this, is to email your grocery store and ask them what they take.
  • Matthew M. 2 months ago
    So are you saying that clear plastic that are semi flexible trays and are marked with a 2 or 4 triangle that were inside a cardboard product box can’t be put in our recycle bin?
    • Carolyn C. 1 month ago
      No, they're only talking about soft bags and film. I assume you're asking about cookie trays and things like that. Those CAN go in the bin.
  • Diann F. 2 months ago
    can shredded paper go I recycle bin
  • S C. 2 months ago
    Yes. I learned that I should have read thru the text first. LOL. Missed 3 q's but now have acquired new knowledge -do's and don't about plastic film. Haayy! Thanks.
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