Benefits of Recycling Plastic Bags


While recycling plastic bags might seem like just a small action, it is actually one of the most important you can take for the environment. Plastic is made of petroleum, a nonrenewable resource. Recycled plastics can be used to create new plastics, reducing the need to find new sources of oil. Plastics also create a significant percentage of our solid waste. Garbage dumped into the ocean has created a large area in the Pacific Ocean called the Pacific Garbage Patch, an area covered in floating plastic that is twice the size of the state of Texas. Removing plastic bags from the waste cycle plays an important role in reducing land and water pollution.

Recycling Plastic Bags Reduces Waste

  • Recycling plastic bags helps reduce the use of new plastics. It also helps reduce the use of wood. Most recycled plastic bags become part of a plastic-lumber composite material, reducing the need to cut down forests to create lumber products. In an era of increasing environmental constraint, thinking wisely about reuse rather than using new materials makes sense.

Recycling Plastic Bags Prevents Litter

Recycling Plastic Bags Helps Sea Life

  • Recycling plastic bags prevents them from eventually being dumped into the ocean, where they could not only become part of the Pacific Garbage Patch, but also directly damage marine life. Sea turtles, for example, can starve to death if they eat a plastic bag. These turtles naturally eat jellyfish, and floating plastic bags look like jellyfish to them. Once ingested, plastic bags disrupt their digestive tracts.

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  • Photo Credit bags of lentils image by Sean Wallace-Jones from Recycling bin image by Freeze Frame Photography from garbage image by Mat Hayward from jellyfish image by pearlguy from
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