How to Recycle Plastic Grocery Bags

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How to Recycle Plastic Grocery Bags. Plastic grocery bags Type 2 (high-density polyethylene film - HDPE) and Type 4 (low density or linear-low density polyethylene film - LDPE/LLDPE) can be recycled at your local supermarket and other locations. Once the bags are recycled, they are made into lumber, trashcan liners or plastic bags.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic Bags
  • Plastic bags
  • Find out if your local curbside recycling program will accept plastic grocery bags.

  • Drop off plastic grocery bags Type 2 and Type 4 at your local grocery store, if you cannot recycle them through your curbside program. Most grocery stores will accept plastic bags and have recycling bins inside the store.

  • Exclude any plastic bags that are dark in color or bags that have handles or drawstrings. Plastic food packaging and plastic food wrap (Saran wrap) are also non-recyclable.

  • Clean and dry bags thoroughly before recycling, making sure they are empty of any debris. This is important, since foreign objects will contaminate the plastic as it is being recycled.

  • Check with your county department of public works to find out about local curbside recycling programs and community drop-off centers, or look under "Recycling" in the Yellow Pages.

Tips & Warnings

  • The type of plastic the bag is made from should be printed somewhere on the bag.
  • Often plastic bags that are used for bread and other products are made from Type 2 and Type 4 plastic, but are not marked. They can usually be recycled with plastic grocery store bags unless they have the numeral 7 on them, which means they are definitely not recyclable.
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