If you’re like most Massachusetts residents, you probably try to recycle as much as possible. That’s a good thing. However, sometimes we can get a little carried away.
Case in point—plastic bags. Are you putting bags in your single stream recycling bin? Or, do you place your recyclables in a plastic bag and then place that bag in your single stream bin?
Well guess what? While plastic bags are recyclable, they are not recyclable in single stream bins.
That’s because thin plastic film gums up the machinery and causes recycling plant shutdowns.
So what can you do with all of these bags? One option is to bring them back to the store. Supermarkets are required to offer plastic bag recycling bins. These bins can be found near the entrances to most supermarkets and other retailers.
Of course, you can avoid the need to recycle shopping bags by opting for reusable bags. But if you still prefer plastic shopping bags, keep in mind that these are not the only type of plastic bags you can recycle.
You can return all thin plastic wrap, including zip lock bags, bread bags, saran wrap, and even dry cleaning bags to the supermarket. Anything that stretches, even case overwrap for items like water bottles and paper towels.
Set up a separate bin for plastic bags and film and you’ll be amazed at just how much plastic you can divert from your trash.
1. Plastic bags and stretchable plastic film of any kind should never go in your single stream recycling bin.
2. Plastic bags and film are recyclable, but only in the bins at the supermarket or other stores.
3. To reduce the amount of plastic you consume, consider using reusable bags whenever possible