Plastic Bag Recycling at the Half-Pint Resale
By Casey Schmitt, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Whether it’s old grocery or dry cleaner bags, plastic packaging pillows, zip seal sandwich bags or just a good old trash bin liner, buyers and sellers at this year’s resale are going to use a lot of recyclable plastics. By using a local drop-off location for recycling, you can make sure these items are recycled and help put unwanted, used plastics to new use.
Any clean, dry and stretchy plastic—like those plastic baggies those “new” pajamas were packaged in—can be collected at retail drop-off locations, including many local grocery stores. Manufacturers use the plastics to make new products, like new bags or plastic lumber for park benches and playground equipment. Recycling plastic bags, wrap and film keeps tens of millions of dollars of material out of landfills, feeds the Wisconsin economy and protects the environment!
From a plastic recycling industry perspective, it is strongly encouraged that consumer recyclers keep plastic bags, wrap and film separate from other recyclables and deliver them to a drop-off location instead. This helps keep the material clean and dry and cuts down on contamination.
If you find yourself with a heap of plastic bags once you are home from the sale, recycling is as easy as 1-2-3. Simply:
- Collect clean, dry bags, film and wrap in one large bag at home, being sure to remove any paper tags and tape;
- Find the nearest plastic film drop-off location in your area by making a zip code search on the drop-off directory at www.plasticfilmrecycling.org; and
- When you have a load of plastic bags and wrap to recycle, take them to the drop-off while you run other errands.
For more information on reducing, reusing and recycling plastic bags and wrap, search “plastic film” at dnr.wi.gov.