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.
We love halloween. My son has been asking most every day – “Is it halloween yet?” The one problem with Halloween, as we see it, is that it can get expensive. If you haven’t been lucky enough to 1) score a cheap costume that your kid will wear at a thrift store, or 2) have a kid who will wear whatever you score, then you are probably, about now, thinking “I have to spend HOW MUCH on a $#%& costume?” (insert costume idea of your kid’s choice).
We ran across this posting on some good cheap (or possibly even free) costume ideas. I personally LOVE the jellyfish costume and plan to use this for myself sometime in the next few years when I no longer have to hold a baby. The oldie-but-goodie Highway idea would be easy enough for a kid of any age (black pants, black shirt, yellow electrical tape). We’ve had fun in years past with one of dad’s white shirts (for a lab coat), a pair of old lens-less glasses, and some gel in the hair for a mad-scientist.
And a green halloween? We thought these tidbits were interesting:
- Conventional pumpkins are a highly “treated” crop. Consider buying from a local farm instead of the grocery store (unless you know they are organic). And make sure you compost it when Halloween is over instead of putting it in a landfill. We usually just put ours in the garden and top it with leaves and by spring it’s nearly vanished.
- Use a recycled costume (ie items from your or your friend’s closet or dress-up box, thrift stores)
- Use recycled cans to make lanterns for your home (think hammer and nail, patterns, candles)
- Use a solar powered flash light when out and about, or sew reflective tape to the costume
And finally, here is a good link for a FAKE BLOOD RECIPE (fabulous) and other home-made face paints!
A friend of mine let me on to a little secret – you can get a Free downloadable subscription to the kid-centered magazine LMNOP. One issue back was all about letters, and I couldn’t stop reciting the sing along lyrics to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom while I was “leafing” through this green and graphically beautiful magazine subscription.
And don’t be confused that the latest issue focuses on spring – the mag is centered out of Australia, so it will help you get a jump start on ideas for next year. And the blog is filled with ideas for us northern hemisphere folks alike, like directions to make this cheap, cute daisy costume.