Are Plastic Bags Recyclable?
Yes, plastic bags ARE recyclable.
While most curbside pick-up programs do not accept plastic bags, you can deposit them in bins at the grocery store or at recycling centers. (You can also put dry cleaning bags and other plastic sheeting/film in there). Find a location near you at Earth911.org/recylcing by searching for places to recycle "plastic bags."
Plastic bags are usually made from plastic resins number 2 or 4, which are difficult to recycle because they are so light weight. Bags get tangled in complicated recycling equipment. They are simple to recycle but must be kept completely separate from materials generally included in curbside pick-up programs.
Recycled plastic bags can be found in furniture, tiles, garbage bags, trash cans and much more. Recycling plastics uses way less energy and produces far fewer environmental toxins then creating new plastic altogether, so it's important to spread the word that plastic bags and other items made from plastic #4 can be recycled.
Even though plastic shopping bags are recyclable, it is always best to bring your own reusable shopping bags (or at least to use the same plastic shopping bags multiple times before recycling it). Generating plastic bags creates great amounts of air pollution and environmental waste. Also, because the bags are so light, they can easily be blown into the atmosphere even when we have the best intentions to reuse and recycle them.
Learn more about the plastic bag recycling process in the video below.